Sara Lee CEO to Resign Due to Health Issues

August 9, 2010 Updated: August 9, 2010

Foods and consumer products maker Sara Lee Corp. said on Monday that its CEO Brenda Barnes will step down permanently due to health reasons. Barnes has also resigned from her Chairmanship and her position on the company’s board of directors. Barnes, who recently suffered a stroke, has been on leave from the company since May. The company said that Marcel Smits will remain as interim CEO until it finds a successor.

"We fully support Brenda’s decision to step down as Chairman and CEO so she can devote all of her time and energy toward improving her health,” said James Crown, independent director. Sara Lee is a leading manufacturer of foods, including Ball Park Franks, Jimmy Dean sausages, Sara Lee bakery products, and Kiwi shoe polish.