French dairy group Danone has appointed Kraft Foods executive Jean-Philippe Pare as executive vice president of research and development.

The company announced yesterday (13 April) that he will replace Sven Thormahlen who has "decided to move on to a new professional challenge"

Pare, president of Kraft Foods France, will head up a team of 1,200 scientists and specialised developers and be responsible for R&D in all four Danone divisions - fresh dairy, waters, baby nutrition and medical nutrition - as well as its international research centres.

Pare began his career in marketing and sales with Danone's fresh dairy division in France, and has held a number of senior roles within LU, Bagley, HP Foods and Kraft Foods.

Commenting on the appointment, Danone co-chief operating officer Bernard Hours said: "His experience of international management and proven capacity for team development, his familiarity with innovation processes, and his in-depth understanding of international markets mean that he is well equipped to step up the pace in R&D, which is absolutely vital to our strategy for innovation and sustainable development."