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Downers Grove, Ill.-based Sara Lee Corp. has appointed the president of Campbell North America as CEO of the meat business it plans to spin off this year.
Sean Connolly, 46, will start Jan. 17 as head of Sara Lee’s North American Retail and Foodservice business and will lead the meat business after the coffee and tea business is spun off, expected in the second quarter, Crain’s Chicago Business reported.
Sara Lee Executive Chairman Jan Bennink said Connolly “has extensive experience in the American food industry, coupled with a strong track record as a great innovator, particularly in mature categories. These strengths will allow him to take a fresh look at the business and enable the company to reach its full potential.”
Connolly will succeed Marcel Smits, who was leading the business pending the hiring of a permanent CEO. Smits took over after C.J. Fraleigh resigned in September.
Campbell North America is the Camden, N.J.-based soup company’s largest unit, with about $4.6 billion in yearly sales. Connolly joined Campbell’s in 2002 after previously working for Procter & Gamble.