The Dannon Co. has announced Gustavo Valle will become president and chief executive officer effective April 1, replacing Juan Carlos Dalto. Valle is currently the CEO of Danone Brazil and will relocate to the area of Dannon’s headquarters in White Plains, N.Y.

After nearly five years of service as president and CEO of the Dannon Co. and vice president of dairy in North America, Dalto has decided to pursue a career in international strategic consulting, based in his home country of Argentina.

Valle started his career within Danone in Argentina in 1996 as vice president of finance, where he evolved to become CEO of Danone Waters in Argentina in 2002. In 2004, he became CEO of Danone Brazil. In both businesses, Valle achieved significant success in top-line growth and profitability.

As president and CEO of the Dannon Co., Valle will report to Dirk Van de Put, executive vice president of Danone Americas Region. “I thank Juan Carlos for his passion, leadership and professionalism during his 12 year career at Danone, in Argentina, Portugal and Italy, including almost five years leading The Dannon Company and our North American Dairy Business,” Van de Put said. “Throughout his tenure, he achieved success in all geographies and left his personal mark. We wish the best for Juan Carlos and his family on his new professional adventures and in their return to their home country of Argentina.

“I also want to congratulate Gustavo on the great success he had leading Danone Brazil and I have tremendous confidence in him to continue to make The Dannon Company successful in the single largest market in the world.”

During the month of April, Valle and Dalto will work together to ensure a smooth and seamless transition.

As is customary with Groupe Danone to maximize the sharing of knowledge and experience and to provide employees with the best career opportunities, CEOs of country business units do move approximately every three to five years. Recently, Dalto expressed his interest to pursue an entrepreneurial career in international consultancy services on strategy and leadership, which will also allow him to follow his family’s desire to relocate back to their home country after nine years abroad.

In addition to bringing two of Groupe Danone’s biggest blockbuster brands to North America to fuel the growth and development of the region’s dairy businesses, Dalto led a team that made significant progress and investments in Dannon, in areas including infrastructure, safety, organization and talent recruitment. Dalto led the team that pioneered probiotics like Activia and DanActive for the North American region.

“My passion for this business is as strong today as it was when I joined this company,” Dalto said. “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.”

The Dannon Co. is America’s founding national yogurt company and continually leverages its expertise to develop and market innovative cultured fresh dairy products in the United States. Based in White Plains, N.Y., Dannon has plants in Minster, Ohio; Fort Worth, Texas; and West Jordan, Utah, and produces about 100 different flavors, styles and sizes of cultured fresh dairy products.

Dannon is a subsidiary of Groupe Danone, one of the world’s leading producers of packaged foods and beverages. Groupe Danone’s mission is to bring health through tasty, nutritious and affordable food and beverage products to as many people as possible. Dannon is the top-selling brand of yogurt products worldwide, sold under the names Dannon and Danone.

With a strong commitment to high-quality, wholesome, nutritious and innovative products, the Dannon Co. is committed to encouraging healthy eating and healthy living. Groupe Danone is a recognized leader for its contributions to nutrition and health and was ranked best in class in a 2008 JPMorgan & Insight Investment study about the response of the world’s largest food companies to obesity and health-related concerns.

This commitment is also illustrated through Dannon’s support of the Dannon Institute, an independent, non-profit foundation dedicated to promoting research, education, and communication about the links between nutrition, diet and health. For more information, visit