Dannon Co., a unit of Groupe Danone, has named Juan Carlos Dalto president and chief executive, with immediate effect.

Dalto replaced Thomas Kunz, 47, who was recently promoted to the position of executive vice president of the Groupe Danone water and beverage division.

In a press release yesterday, the yoghurt company said Dalto, 39, will have strategic and direct responsibilities for dairy products in the US and Canada.

Dalto, who has worked for Groupe Danone since 1997, was most recently president and chief executive of Danone Italia.