A KEY figure in Fonterra’s management team has resigned, returning to France to take a role with his former company Danone. Pascal De Petrini’s resignation as managing director of the dairy co-operative’s Asia Pacific, Middle East and Africa (APMEA) business unit is effective immediately.

Fonterra said he had decided to accept an executive vice president role with Danone from mid-June this year. Danone, which owns infant formula business Nutricia, launched legal action against Fonterra after cancelling its supply contract with the dairy co-operative last year. The companies fell out over the 2013 botulism scare, which Danone says cost it €350m ($545m).