Dannon, SunOpta Introduce New Leaders

The Dannon Company has announced that Gustavo Valle will take over as president and chief executive officer on April 1.


After almost five years of service as president and CEO of The Dannon Company and VP Dairy North America, Juan Carlos Dalto will pursue a career in international strategic consulting in his home country of Argentina.

SunOpta has announced that Eric Davis will join the company as vice president and chief financial officer effective March 16. John Dietrich, SunOpta’s current chief financial officer, will provide transition assistance to Davis and then is expected to assume a new role within the organization.

Valle joined Danone in Argentina in 1996 as vice president of finance and in 2004 he became CEO of Danone Brazil. CEOs of country business units, as Dalto was for the North American unit, are encouraged to move on every three to five years, according to a company press release. Under Dalto’s leadership, Dannon was able to launch its popular Activia and DanActive probiotic brands in North America. Dalto commented on the change in a company press release. "My passion for this business is as strong today as it was when I joined this company. We have the right people, the right infrastructure and the best brands with which to succeed. I have tremendous confidence in my successor's ability to continue to lead this organization of talented and devoted people."

Eric Davis was previously the CFO for Grant Forest Products, a Canadian manufacturer of oriented strand board. Davis has also held CFO and senior vice president positions with Johnson Electric Holdings Ltd., a publicly traded global small motor manufacturer and CFO positions within The Coca-Cola Company in Canada and the Asian-Pacific market.

Steve Bromley, president and CEO of SunOpta Inc., commented on the hiring of Davis in a company press release. "We are delighted to have Eric join the SunOpta team. His extensive financial experience in manufacturing, food, distribution and international industries will make Eric a valuable addition as we focus on maximizing our strategic capabilities while driving profitable growth and return on equity." [Editor’s Note: Be sure to check out NBJ’s profile of SunOpta in the March 2009 issue focused on the U.S. Organics Markets.]

If you are an NBJ Subscriber and would like to read more, click below:
SunOpta and Hain Celestial Keep the Acquisitions Coming
Activia Achieves Breakthrough Status in U.S. Probiotics Market

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