Nigyar Makhmudova

Nigyar Makhmudova

EVP, Chief Growth Officer of Danone

Nigyar is Executive Vice President and Chief Growth Officer for Danone, a global leading company whose mission is To Bring Health through Food to as Many People as Possible. The company is built on four business lines: Essential Dairy and Plant-based Products, Waters, Early Life Nutrition and Advanced Medical Nutrition with 2021 net revenues of approximately €26 billion, present in 120+ markets with almost 100,000 employees.

In this role, Nigyar leads the growth and marketing strategies of company’s consumer categories – Dairy, Waters and Plant Based – and its portfolio of Global brands, such as Evian, Volvic, Activia, Actimel, Danone, Alpro, Danonino, etc. She also leads the teams responsible for Media and Agency Relationships; Data, Advanced Analytics & Digital; Strategy & Insights; Global Sales and Customers; e-commerce; Perspective & New business models; as well as Sales and Marketing Capabilities.

Nigyar is also non-executive Board Director of Jungunzblauer, Switzerland – family-owned leading global manufacturer of natural biodegradable food ingredients.

Prior to joining Danone, Nigyar held a variety of roles increasing in responsibility at Mars Inc. In her last role she served as Global CEO for Pet Nutrition, $10+ bn global business, present across 100+ markets, 80+ factories, and 15,000+ employees, and was a member of Petcare Executive Committee. 

Nigyar has proven track record in leading business transformations, driving turnarounds, building new businesses and markets. She managed business units, regions and global functions in a highly matrixed organization and excels in rallying teams toward company Purpose. 
Nigyar’s distinct leadership style combines business transformation and exceptional delivery with a positive approach that inspires and empowers. She enjoys mentoring top talent and believes in the power of a positive culture. She is Danone Executive Committee co-sponsor of Inclusive Diversity.

Nigyar was born in Azerbaijan and spent most of her life living outside of her home country. Foreigner for life, she lived and worked across seven countries and three continents. Very early on Nigyar learned to cherish the power of adaptability, richness of cultural diversity, importance of emotional empathy and intellectual curiosity.
Nigyar has MSc in Biochemistry, with Distinction from Moscow State University, Russia, and Diploma in Management from Nottingham Trent University, UK.

Nigyar is happily married and is mother to 2 daughters.