Board approves Sara Lee spinoff

by Meat&Poultry Staff
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DOWNERS GROVE, Ill. – The board of directors for Sara Lee Corp. announced the boards of directors for MeatCo. and the company’s coffee and tea company after unanimously approving the separation of its coffee and tea business.

Upon completion of the spin-off, the MeatCo. board will have three new board members and five existing Sara Lee Corp. directors. The MeatCo. board intends to add one more member, which would bring the total number of directors to nine.

Christopher Begley, currently director of Sara Lee Corp. and the former chairman and chief executive officer of Hospira Inc., will serve as non-executive chairman of the board for MeatCo.

The new board members are:

• Todd Becker, who has served as president and CEO of Green Plains Renewable Energy Inc. since 2009 and was appointed as a director of the company the same year. Becker worked for 10 years with ConAgra Foods in various management positions, including vice president of international marketing for ConAgra Trade Group and president, ConAgra Grain Canada;

• Ellen Brothers, who has served as the executive vice president of Mattel Inc. and president of American Girl (a subsidiary of Mattel) since July 2000; and

• Sean Connolly, CEO of MeatCo. He joined Sara Lee from the Campbell Soup Company where he served as president of Campbell’s North America.

“I’m excited to welcome Todd Becker, Ellen Brothers and Sean Connolly to the MeatCo. board of directors,” said Jan Bennink, executive chairman of Sara Lee. “Todd has more than 24 years of relevant experience in various commodity-processing businesses, risk management and supply chain management. Ellen is a retail expert with great experience in brand building. Sean has great food-category knowledge and has brought fresh perspectives and direction to MeatCo since joining in 4Q 2011. They will each be a true resource within the board of this new company.”

The company also announced that Kent Magill, previously an executive with Hostess Brands Inc., will join MeatCo, a North American retail and food service business of Sara Lee Corp. While at Hostess, Magill served as executive vice-president, general counsel and corporate secretary.

Magill will join Sara Lee on June 4 as senior vice-president, general counsel, North American Retail and Foodservice. He will report to Sean Connolly, chief executive officer, Sara Lee North American Retail and Foodservice.

After the spin-off of Sara Lee’s international coffee and tea business on June 28, Magill will become general counsel and corporate secretary of MeatCo. He will be responsible for the company’s legal activities as well as global business practices.

Magill most recently was in private practice with Stinson Morrison Hecker LLP, a firm in Kansas City, Mo. Besides working at Hostess, he was vice-president, general counsel and secretary at Layne Christensen Co. and vice-president associate general counsel at The Marley Co.

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