Sara Lee Corp. Announces Sally Grimes As Chief Innovation Officer For Hillshire Brands Co.

Sara Lee Corp. announced that Sally Grimes, 41, will become chief innovation officer of Hillshire Brands Co. (Sara Lee’s North American business) after the spin-off of its international coffee and tea business. Grimes will have responsibility for the company’s innovation process, including identifying strategies, business opportunities and new technologies and then developing new capabilities with partners, new business models and new industry structures to serve those opportunities. She will join Hillshire Brands on July 9, 2012. Grimes will report to Sean Connolly, chief executive officer, Hillshire Brands Co.

“Hillshire Brands will be the most innovative meat-centric food company in the U.S.,” said Connolly in a prepared statement. “Sally’s ingenuity and creativity as well as her ability to steward enterprise-wide recognition of new ideas and trends make her a welcome addition to Hillshire Brands and our leadership team.”

Most recently, Grimes was global vice president, marketing, writing and creative expression GBU at Newell Rubbermaid, Inc. She was responsible for implementing marketing planning and filling the innovation pipeline for the Sharpie, Paper Mate, Expo, Prismacolor and Rolodex brands.

Before joining Newell Rubbermaid, Grimes spent ten years at Kraft Foods, Inc. in a variety of marketing and brand management positions, rising from associate brand manager to senior category business director. She began her career in banking.

Grimes received her bachelor’s degree in finance from Valparaiso University and her master of business administration from the University of Chicago. She was recognized by Fast Company as one of the 100 Most Creative People in Business 2012.   

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