Sara Lee declares dividend, mum on CEO search

By Emily Bryson York
Posted Oct. 28, 2010 at 11:41 a.m.

At Sara Lee’s annual meeting Thursday morning, the Downers Grove-based company offered no update on its search for a chief executive and declined to comment on the possible sale of its bread business.

The company did declare a regular quarterly dividend of $0.115 per share, up 4.5 percent, bringing the annual dividend to 46 cents.
Company executives denounced reports of a possible sale of its bread business as “rumors and speculation.” Jim Crown, chairman of Downers Grove-based Sara Lee, also declined to confirm reports that the company has retained an outside firm to handle inquiries.

The company also fielded a number of questions from investors concerned about the ongoing nature of its CEO search process. Crown said that Sara Lee is considering internal and external candidates, and has retained Egon Zehnder to oversee the process. Interim CEO Marcel Smits and North American CEO C.J. Fraleigh are considered to be leading internal candidates for the position.

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