The board of directors also announced that, effective immediately, it has appointed Jan Bennink, 54, as director and executive chairman.
Bennink's primary responsibility is the leadership and implementation of the spin-off, in addition to chairing the board of directors and building and maintaining a senior management team. Bennink replaces Jim Crown, who has served as chairman of the board since May 2010. Crown will continue on the board and will serve as lead independent director.
Bennink has extensive executive leadership experience in the food and beverage and consumer packaged goods industries. Most recently, he served as chief executive officer of Royal Numico and has also held key management positions with Groupe Danone, Benckiser Gmbh and Procter & Gamble. He previously served on the advisory board of ABN AMRO, as well as on the boards of various global companies, including Kraft Foods. He is currently a director of Coca-Cola Enterprises.
"Sara Lee has a powerful mix of iconic brands, people and potential," said Bennink. "I am excited to serve as executive chairman of the board of directors and oversee the company's transition into two publicly traded companies, each with exciting prospects for growth and value creation."
Also effective immediately, Sara Lee has appointed Marcel Smits, 49, as chief executive officer. Smits has been serving as the company's interim CEO since May 2010. In his role as chief executive officer, Smits will be responsible for Sara Lee's day-to-day operations and execution of the company's annual operating plan and strategy.
In addition to Bennink and Smits, the board of directors has named Mark Garvey, 46, as chief financial officer. Garvey has been serving as interim chief financial officer since May 2010.
The board has also determined that C.J. Fraleigh, 47, who currently serves as Sara Lee's chief executive officer, North America, will be named chief executive officer of the new North American retail and foodservice business upon completion of the spin-off.
"We are pleased to have Jan Bennink join a senior management team that has performed so well, particularly since we formed the office of the chairman in 2010," added Crown.
"He brings strong food and beverage experience, a global perspective and a solid track record of creating shareholder value. The board of directors is confident that with this leadership team in place, this company will build on its past successes as it completes its strategic plan."
On February 8, 2011, Sara Lee will report results for the second quarter of fiscal 2011. The company has provided a table that provides revisions to the previously communicated fiscal 2011 guidance. First, the guidance previously provided on November 9, 2010, was restated in order to present the results of the North American fresh bakery operations as discontinued operations for all periods. Second, this restated guidance was updated to reflect all information available through Jan. 28, 2011. As customary, the guidance includes the net impact of significant items reported in the first quarter, but does not reflect any additional significant items that may occur during the remainder of the fiscal year.
After restating for North American fresh bakery, guidance for adjusted operating income from continuing operations was $904 to $969 million. Sara Lee is updating this range to $904 to $940 million, with the top end of the range coming down due to higher green coffee costs that cannot be fully recovered through pricing within the year. At an EPS level the guidance (after restating for North American fresh bakery) stood at $0.87 to $0.94 which is being updated to $0.85 to $0.89. This change reflects both the aforementioned update of the range of adjusted operating income from continuing operations as well as approximately $0.02 of adverse impact from changes in the assumption for the tax rate, as well as minor changes to the share count and interest expense assumptions.