January 6/Downers Grove, Ill./Associated Press -- Sara Lee Corp. is naming a Campbell Soup Co. executive to head up its North American retail and food service business, which is being split from the food maker's international coffee and tea business.

Sara Lee announced Sean Connolly will serve as CEO of MeatCo, what the North American business will be called once it is separated from the beverages business. The separation will create two public companies and is expected to be completed during the second quarter.

Connolly succeeds Sara Lee CEO Marcel Smits, who has been running the North American business since September and steps down now that a permanent executive has been named.

Connolly currently serves as president of Campbell North America. The soup maker has named 47-year-old Mark Alexander as his successor.

 From the January 5, 2011, Prepared Foods' Daily News.