Sara Lee Corp. (Sara Lee) (NYSE: SLE) today announced the boards of directors for its international coffee and tea company, D.E MASTER BLENDERS 1753 and its North American meats company (currently referred to as “MeatCo”).
Upon completion of the proposed spin-off, Christopher Begley, current 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 of MeatCo.
As previously announced, Jan Bennink, currently executive chairman of Sara Lee Corp., will serve as non-executive chairman of the board of D.E MASTER BLENDERS 1753, which will be spun-off by the end of June 2012. Bennink has served as executive chairman of Sara Lee Corp. since Feb. 2011.
"I am very pleased with the strength and composition of our boards, which carry both continuity and new expertise," Bennink said. “Both boards benefit from directors with deep and relevant experience, as well as a commitment to strong corporate governance and shareholder value. Chris Begley knows MeatCo well and I am confident he will be an effective chairman. I look forward to continuing my work with D.E MASTER BLENDERS 1753.”
After completion of the spin-off, the MeatCo board will feature three new board members and five existing Sara Lee Corp. directors. The MeatCo board intends to add one more member in the future to bring the total number of directors to nine. The new board members are:
Todd Becker, 46, who has served as president and chief executive officer of Green Plains Renewable Energy, Inc. since 2009 and was appointed as a director of the company the same year. Prior to his current position, Becker served as chief executive officer of VBV LLC (precursor to Green Plains) from May 2007 to October 2008. Mr. Becker also worked for ten years with ConAgra Foods in various management positions including vice president of international marketing for ConAgra Trade Group and president, ConAgra Grain Canada.