Sara Lee appoints Jan Bennick as chairman of CoffeeCo, the beverage business the company plans to spin off next year

Cindy Allen

Cindy Allen

Sep 8, 2011 – Associated Press

DOWNERS GROVE, Illinois , September 8, 2011 () – Sara Lee Corp. said Wednesday that it has appointed Jan Bennink as chairman of CoffeeCo, the beverage business that will split from the food maker next year.

Sara Lee announced in January that it plans to split into two companies. One company will keeps the Sara Lee name and concentrate on food service and the North American retail business, which includes brands such as Jimmy Dean and Ball Park. The spinoff company, CoffeeCo, will focus on beverages with brands such as Douwe Egberts and Senseo.

The appointment is effective after the spinoff, which is expected to occur in the first half of 2012.

Bennink, 54, joined Sara Lee in January to lead the spinoff process. He is a former CEO of Royal Numico and held leadership positions at Group Danone, Procter & Gamble and Benckiser Gmbh. He's on the board of Coca-Cola Enterprises, the bottling company.

Sara Lee, based in Downers Grove, Ill., is one of several U.S.-based food companies to spin off units to focus on a niche of products. Kraft Foods Inc. recently announced plans to split, and Ralcorp Holdings Inc. plans to spin off cereal maker Post Foods to focus on making store-brand foods.

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