U.S. yogurt titan Dannon named Juan Carlos Dalto president and CEO Tuesday.

Dannon is the Tarrytown, N.Y.-based U.S. unit of Groupe Danone ( DA), the big Paris foods conglomerate. Dannon said Dalto, 39, succeeds Thomas Kunz, 47, who is now executive vice president of the Groupe Danone Water and Beverage Division.

Dalto will have strategic and direct responsibilities for dairy products in the U.S. and Canada. Dalto, who joined Groupe Danone in December 1997, was named CEO of Danone Portugal in 2000 and CEO of Danone Italia in 2002.

"Dannon is growing faster in its category than any other yogurt brand," said Dalto, who is an Argentine citizen. "I look forward to continuing this upward trend at Dannon and driving a successful growth strategy."

Danone fell 18 cents Tuesday to $17.33.

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