Harris role expands, Interbrand mulls Sara Lee name

Jon Harris will become chief communications officer, SVP of the North American food service business and food brands when Sara Lee splits into two separate companies next year.

Jon Harris will become chief communications officer, SVP of the North American food service business and food brands when Sara Lee splits into two separate companies next year.

Sara Lee plans to complete the split by March 2012, with the two companies currently going under the working titles Sara Lee 2.0 and CoffeeCo. It has engaged branding consultancy Interbrand to come up with names for the companies and Sara Lee 2.0 may be renamed completely - but Sara Lee will survive at brand level either way.

Harris is currently SVP, global communications, and reports to Sara Lee's EVP of HR, Stephen Cerrone. Under the Sara Lee 2.0 structure, he will be part of a seven-strong board and report directly to CEO CJ Fraleigh, alongside president and CMO Monty Pooley, chief customer officer Andy Callahan, chief supply chain officer Tom Hayes, chief HR officer Mary Beth DeNooyer, and the yet-to-be-named CFO and general counsel.

“It's great to have communications sitting right at the top table,” said Harris. “I will be more involved with government affairs, sustainability, and internal communications in the new structure.” Harris added that consumer affairs would now report to the communications department, rather than marketing as it does now.

As well as Sara Lee, other brands within Sara Lee 2.0 include Jimmy Dean, Ball Park, Hillshire Farm, Chef Pierre, and State Fair.

CoffeeCo will be based abroad and comprise Sara Lee's beverage and international bakery businesses, including brands such as Douwe Egberts, Bimbo, Café Pilao, L'Or, Maison du Café, Marcilla, Pickwick, and Senseo. It will have a completely separate communications team once it is set up.

Harris will continue to serve as president of The Sara Lee Foundation and oversee community investment and events management. He joined Sara Lee in 2005 as VP of North American Food and Beverage and Foodservice communications, having previously worked with Fraleigh at PepsiCo.

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