Danone loses UK head of marketing

Danone UK marketing director Martin Theiss has left the company, and has been replaced by Danone France head of health, Francois Rillet.

Rillet, who has already taken over the role, will be responsible for the company’s dairy brands, which include Actimel, Activia, Shape and St Ivel. He was appointed head of health at the start of 2006.

It is not clear whether Theiss has another job to go to. He took up the UK post in 2004, moving from Danone Germany, where it is understood he held a senior marketing role.

The changes come a year after the division appointed Marnix Eikenboom as UK managing director. He replaced Marc Gosselin, who had been in the role for six years and was promoted to executive vice-president of dairy in Africa and the Middle East. Eikenboom moved from a senior management role in the Netherlands.

Groupe Danone is in the middle of a takeover of Royal Numico, which owns baby food brands Cow & Gate and Milupa. The Numico board was due to discuss the €55 (£38.40) per share offer at an extraordinary general meeting last week.

The deal follows the sell-off of the French food company’s biscuit division to Kraft Foods. It also has a beverage division, which includes water brands Evian and Volvic.

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