Sara Lee Corp. has appointed Michiel Herkemij as executive vice president and chief executive officer of its international beverage business. He will also serve as chief executive officer of “CoffeeCo” once it is spun-off from Sara Lee Corp. in the first half of calendar 2012. Herkemij will start his new duties no later than Dec. 1, 2011 and the company will conduct the customary consultations with works councils regarding his appointment.
Herkemij, 47, joins Sara Lee from Heineken N.V., one of the world’s leading beer companies. He currently serves as president and chief executive officer of Cuauhtémoc Moctezuma – a leading beer manufacturer in Mexico with six breweries and 18,000 employees, acquired by Heineken in 2010. Previously, he was chief executive officer of Heineken’s Nigerian subsidiary, a publicly-listed company. Prior to Heineken, he held multiple managerial positions with Royal Friesland Campina N.V., a leading dairy company, where he worked in the Benelux region, China and Nigeria. He began his business career with British American Tobacco in the UK and Iberia (Spain & Portugal) and ABN AMRO Bank N.V.
Jan Bennink, Sara Lee Corp.’s executive chairman, said that the board selected Herkemij based on his track record of leading complex international organizations, his breadth of experience across multiple consumer goods businesses and his unique perspective, as well as his strong executive and personal qualities.