Emmanuel Besnier

Emmanuel Besnier, born on September 18, 1970, in Laval, France, is the CEO of Lactalis, the world’s largest dairy company. He is the grandson of André Besnier, who founded the company in 1933. Emmanuel pursued his education at the prestigious ISG Business School in Paris, where he honed his skills in business management and administration, preparing him for a prominent role in the family enterprise.


Emmanuel Besnier joined Lactalis in 1995, working his way up through various positions within the company. In 2000, at the age of 29, he became the CEO following the death of his father, Michel Besnier. Under his leadership, Lactalis has expanded its global footprint through numerous acquisitions, including the purchase of Parmalat in Italy and Stonyfield Farm in the United States. Besnier has been instrumental in transforming Lactalis into a global dairy giant with a presence in over 100 countries.

Emmanuel Besnier’s tenure has not been without controversy. In 2017, Lactalis was embroiled in a major scandal involving the contamination of baby milk with salmonella. The incident led to a global recall and raised significant concerns about food safety practices within the company. Besnier faced intense scrutiny and criticism for his handling of the crisis, particularly his initial reluctance to communicate with the media and the public.

Looking ahead, Emmanuel Besnier aims to further consolidate Lactalis’ market position and expand its product offerings. Sustainability and innovation are likely to be focal points, as the dairy industry faces increasing pressure to adopt environmentally friendly practices. Besnier’s strategic vision and commitment to growth will be crucial as Lactalis navigates the evolving landscape of the global dairy market.

Emmanuel Besnier’s leadership has significantly shaped Lactalis, driving its expansion and success. Despite the controversies, his focus remains on strengthening the company’s global presence and ensuring its future growth.

Private Life

Known for his private and reclusive nature, Emmanuel Besnier keeps a low profile. He rarely gives interviews and maintains a discreet lifestyle. Besnier lives with his wife and three children in Laval, near the company’s headquarters. Despite his immense wealth, he avoids the public eye, focusing instead on running and expanding Lactalis.

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In 2017, during the major salmonella contamination crisis involving Lactalis baby milk, Besnier personally visited the factory in Craon, where the contamination had originated. Despite his preference for privacy, he spent hours with his team, meticulously overseeing the implementation of corrective measures.

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