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The Transformation of Sara Lee

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Sara Lee is entering a transformation plan that includes the election of Brenda C. Barnes as the CEO, effective immediately.

“Our decision to fundamentally transform Sara Lee presents an ideal time for Brenda Barnes to transition to her new role as chief executive officer. We recruited Brenda last year to be my successor, and her contributions and leadership have exceeded all expectations,” said McMillan. “Brenda has played a key leadership role in designing our transformation plan and, for continuity and focus, it is appropriate that she lead its execution from the outset. Also, to ensure a smooth transition, I will remain chairman through the annual shareholders meeting in October. During these nine months, I will focus on the divestitures included in our plan.”

The company has built its transformation plan upon three pillars: organizing its business operations around consumers, customers and geographic markets; focusing its portfolio; and increasing operational efficiency to fund growth.

“Today, Sara Lee is embarking on an aggressive, strategic plan that will transform the entire enterprise into a tightly focused food, beverage and household products company,” said Brenda C. Barnes, president and chief executive officer of Sara Lee Corporation. “We are taking bold actions that will enable Sara Lee to compete more successfully in today’s dynamic marketplace and thereby generate consistent, long-term topline growth and bottomline profitability for our shareholders.”

Sara Lee will re-organize its business operations around distinct consumers, customers and geographic markets in order to build functional excellence, increase strategic focus, simplify the organization and eliminate layers.

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The Transformation of Sara Lee
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