|Sara Lee is in the midst of a massive restructuring plan and is selling or spinning off apparel and other brands that total 40% of its current sales.
In the midst of a massive restructuring plan, Ms. Barnes -- herself a 20-year veteran of PepsiCo -- on Aug. 24 named a onetime PepsiCo executive and recent Kimberly-Clark Corp. marketing officer, Kim Feil, to the position of senior vice president and chief marketing officer for its Sara Lee Food & Beverage’s North American retail brands. That unit is expected to be central to the company’s growth going forward.
Ms. Feil will report to C.J. Fraleigh, a former General Motors Corp. executive director of advertising and corporate marketing and likewise a PepsiCo alumnus, whom Ms. Barnes named CEO of the food and beverage unit in December. That operation includes packaged meat brands such as Jimmy Dean, Hillshire Farm and Ball Park as well as Senseo coffee and baked goods under the Sara Lee brand. Ms. Barnes announced in February that trhose brands would be the focus of the “new Sara Lee,” along with its household products unit, following the sale or spin off of apparel and other brands that total 40% of the company’s sales.
Ms. Feil will have her work cut out for her as Sara Lee’s recent fourth-quarter earnings showed a 43.5% drop in profit from continuing operations for fiscal 2005 with meats, baked goods and beverages all posting volume declines. Analysts have been extremely skeptical that Sara Lee’s limited foods portfolio will allow the company to meet aggressive operating margin goals.
Departure of Lee Chaden
For more than a year, corporate oversight of Sara Lee’s $500 million global marketing budget had again been left to its many disparate units following the departure last May of Lee Chaden, who for a year reigned as the company's first executive vice president for global marketing and sales. He oversaw the centralization of media and creative agencies as well as the prioritization of marketing focus before taking on the role of CEO of Sara Lee Branded Apparel.
Prior to taking on the position of vice president and senior marketing officer of Kimberly-Clark’s North Atlantic organizations in February, Ms. Feil served as the CEO of Mosaic InfoForce, a joint venture between Information Resources Inc. and Mosaic that provides retail insights and analyses to consumer packaged goods companies such as Gillette and Procter & Gamble. Ms. Feil also held positions at Information Resources, PepsiCo and Cadbury Schweppes.