DOWNERS GROVE, ILL. — Marcel H. M. Smits has been appointed executive vice-president and chief financial officer of Sara Lee Corp, effective Oct. 1.

Mr. Smits will be responsible for the corporation’s accounting, tax, treasury, procurement and information technology departments. He will report to Brenda C. Barnes, Sara Lee’s chairman and chief executive.

"Marcel brings great finance, leadership and international expertise, and we’re delighted to have him join our team," Ms. Barnes said. "He’s a seasoned professional with broad experience in consumer packaged goods and retail and we expect him to quickly contribute to our finance, operations and global business strategy."

Mr. Smits was previously employed by Dutch telecom leader Koninklijke KPN NV, where he served as chief financial officer. Before that position, Mr. Smits was c.f.o. and a member of the management board of Vendex KBB (now known as Maxeda), a Dutch retail group, where he also managed the IT function.