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Antoine Riboud was born in 1918, died in 2002 and graduated from ESCP in 1942.

In his autobiography entitled The Dumb Kid in Class (Le dernier de la classe) he tells how he came out last in his class. Yet he became a pioneer in many areas.

At his beginnings he managed the family company producing glass for bottles, and went on to convert the company into an agrifood industry player. He was the initiator of the first attempt at a hostile public offer on the Paris Stock Exchange, and made his mark as a boss with distinctive values, and with outspoken choices (in 1970, his company, BSN, became the French leader in beer, mineral water and baby food), but also with an innovative vision of social and responsible management.

In 1972, during the French Employers' convention in Marseille, he made a seminal speech, which made him the promoter of the concept of sustainable development by stating: "Let us conduct our businesses as much with the heart as with the head, and let us not forget that if the earth's energy resources have limits, those of man are infinite if he feels motivated".

He was a reformist leader who wanted to reduce excessive inequalities in living and working conditions, and was the first to highlight the values that improve the quality of life by containing growth.

In June 1973, Antoine Riboud completed the merger between BSN and Gervais Danone. The company adopted the definitive name of Danone in 1994, and is now the 5th largest food group in the world.

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