How ousted boss Emmanuel Faber future-proofed Danone’s mission

“When you change captain, you don’t change the boat.” The sacking of Danone’s boss Emmanuel Faber, a strong advocate of responsible capitalism, following shareholders’ pressure, can be seen as a vote of no-confidence in his commitment to do business for good. But the company’s legal status will make it difficult for new executives to change course on sustainability, making the case for institutionalising purpose as a safeguard against ill-intended investors.