The board of directors of Sara Lee Corp. announced that Brenda C. Barnes will step down permanently from the positions of chairman and CEO so she can continue to focus on improving her health. In addition, the company announced that Barnes has resigned from Sara Lee’s board of directors and will not stand for re-election at the company’s 2010 annual stockholders meeting in October. Barnes had been on medical leave since May 14, 2010 after suffering a stroke.

Starting this week, Sara Lee’s board has initiated a process to select a new chief executive officer, looking at both internal and external candidates. During the process, Marcel Smits will continue as interim chief executive officer and Mark Garvey will continue as interim chief financial officer. James S. Crown, an independent director, will remain chairman of the board, a role he assumed when Barnes’ leave of absence began, and he will continue to lead the Office of the Chairman, comprised of Crown, Smits and C.J. Fraleigh, chief executive officer of North American Retail and Foodservice.

"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 Crown. “She is a remarkable leader who is admired by those inside and outside of the Sara Lee family, and we fully understand and respect her decision. We will conduct a thorough process to identify a CEO successor in a timely manner, and look forward to sustaining the momentum begun under Brenda’s leadership.”

“During Brenda’s six-year tenure as CEO, she successfully transformed Sara Lee into a strong global food and beverage company with a focused portfolio of leading brands,” added Crown. “She exited low-margin businesses and dramatically increased the company’s investment in innovation, while strengthening its position in high-growth emerging markets. She invested in world-class technology platforms that are driving continuous improvement, cost reduction and improved efficiencies across the company. She was instrumental in assembling an outstanding, experienced senior management team, and worked tirelessly to build a high-performance culture internally and enhance the company’s reputation among all of its stakeholders.”

“We thank Brenda for her many contributions to Sara Lee and wish her continued success with her recovery,” Crown concluded.

Source: Sara Lee Corp.

Tyson enjoys “fantastic” Q3

Tyson Foods announced its third quarter 2010 Sales were $7.4 billion, up 11.6% compared to last year. Overall operating margin was 6.8%, with Beef and Pork above their historical normalized ranges. Chicken operating income was $186 million, or 7.4% of sales, or 5.9% when excluding $38 million of insurance proceeds received during the third quarter of fiscal 2010. Beef operating income was $176 million, or 5.6% of sales. Pork operating income was $125 million, or 10.0% of sales, and Prepared Foods operating income was $22 million, or 2.9% of sales.

The company reported net income of $248 million or 65 cents per share in the quarter ending July 3, up from $131 million, or 35 cents per share last year. That represents an income increase of 89 percent.

“This was a fantastic quarter for Tyson Foods, with record earnings, sales and operating margin,” said Donnie Smith, Tyson’s president and chief executive officer. “With more than $600 million in operating cash flow, we were able to pay down debt by $400 million while continuing to invest in our business, bringing our debt to its lowest level since 2001.

“The Beef and Pork segments posted phenomenal results with record return on sales,” Smith said. “Chicken continued to improve and performed within its normalized range. Prepared Foods struggled with rapidly rising input costs, but still managed a decent return.

“Looking ahead, our operational improvements and lower interest expense will help us finish 2010 in a great position and give us a strong start to 2011.”

Source: Tyson Foods, Associated Press

Jimmy Dean offers new breakfast items

Jimmy Dean announced the introduction of Jimmy D’s breakfasts. The new line of breakfast items offer moms a convenient breakfast option for the family, all with 210 calories or less and 7 or more grams of protein.

"On days when her family has important events and much to accomplish, moms are especially aware of the value of starting the day with a hearty breakfast that provides energy for herself and her kids," said Daryl Gormley, vice president breakfast and snacking, Sara Lee North American Retail. "At Jimmy Dean, we know that eating a balanced breakfast that includes protein can help give you the fuel you need to start off your morning right and focus on all of the important things you have planned for the day rather than on your hunger. We’re excited to introduce an offering that can help serve that need."

Jimmy D’s breakfasts are available in three delicious varieties:
* French Toast Griddlers – a cinnamon glazed French toast breakfast sandwich with Jimmy Dean turkey sausage. (210 calories and 8 grams of protein)
* Griddle Sticks – a Jimmy Dean turkey sausage link wrapped in maple pancake batter on a stick. (160 calories and 7 grams of protein)
* French Toast Duos – two cinnamon glazed French toast sticks served with two Jimmy Dean turkey sausage links. (210 calories and 12 grams of protein)

Timed to the launch of Jimmy D’s breakfasts, Jimmy Dean will introduce new website content dedicated to educating moms and their families about the importance of protein and the benefits of a balanced breakfast with protein (

Source: Sara Lee Corp.