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Dannon settles lawsuit against executive who left for Chobani

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Dannon settles lawsuit against executive who left for Chobani
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By Jonathan Stempel

NEWYORK (Reuters) – Dannon Co has settled its lawsuit against a former senior sales executive it accused of stealing confidential business strategies and employee salary data before jumping to yogurt-making rival Chobani LLC.

The confidential settlement between Dannon, a unit of France’s Danone SA <DANO.PA>, and Federico Muyshondt, who oversaw sales in the eastern United States and to supermarket chain Kroger Co <KR.N>, was disclosed in filings on Wednesday with the U.S. District Court in White Plains, New York.

Dannon accused Muyshondt, of Mount Kisco, New York, of forwarding or downloading confidential data in the five months before he resigned on Jan. 16, which was four days after he received a “substantial” six-figure bonus.

Muyshondt represented that he has not used or shared Dannon’s trade secrets and confidential information, and has returned all documents and electronic media that may contain both, one of the filings showed. He also agreed to delete such information from his private email accounts.

Dannon and Chobani, known for its Greek yogurt, are major brands in the roughly $8.8 billion (£6.6 billion) U.S. yogurt market.

Chobani was not a defendant in the case, whose dismissal was approved by U.S. District Judge Kenneth Karas in White Plains.

The case is Dannon Co v Muyshondt, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York, No. 18-01567.

(Reporting by Jonathan Stempel in New York; editing by Diane Craft)

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