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Name and title: Roderick A. Palmore, executive vice president, general counsel and secretary Age: 54 The company: Originating with the 1939 acquisition by businessman Nathan Cummings of C.D. Kenny Co., a Baltimore-based wholesale distributor of sugar, coffee and tea, the Sara Lee Corp. has evolved into a leading global manufacturer and marketer of a wide range of brand-name consumer products. The publicly traded corporation recently moved to new headquarters outside Chicago in Downers Grove, Ill. Although in the midst of a major reorganization, the company currently has five essential business groups: Sara Lee Foods, the Sara Lee Bakery Group, Branded Apparel, Sara Lee International and Household and Body Care. It operates in 58 countries and distributes its products in almost 200 nations. Sara Lee has an estimated 137,000 employees worldwide, a number that Palmore described as “in flux” due to the planned divestiture of numerous assets. The most recent revenue figure was a reported $15.9 billion, for a ranking of No. 111 among the Fortune 500. Previously known as the Consolidated Foods Corp., it was renamed Sara Lee by its chairman, who thought that name had more of a ring to it. Legal team and outside counsel: At present, Palmore is at the helm of a 70-lawyer team, although he predicted that the number of attorneys would shrink with the imminent spinoff of Sara Lee’s North American apparel business. He has fashioned his staff from a composite of law firms and other companies, reflecting his belief that his personnel should perform in partnership with Sara Lee’s business colleagues rather than simply focusing on narrow legal issues. Palmore’s department is “not of the size that affords the opportunity to do all of its work in-house, nor would it be efficient to do so.” At the same time, it is “not a turnstile, shepherding work outside.” Palmore is actively involved in all legal matters, whether handled in-house or externally. He personally selects domestic outside counsel and signs off on decisions about overseas counsel. Domestically, he generally selects from a pool of approximately 10 candidates, among them the Chicago firms Kirkland & Ellis; Jenner & Block; and Green and Letts. Sidley Austin; Sonnenschein Nath & Rosenthal; and Atlanta labor and employment specialist Constangy Brooks & Smith also get the call. The Sara Lee general counsel reports directly to Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Brenda C. Barnes. Palmore’s palette: “Especially these days,” there is no typical workday for the legal chief. Palmore has been “deeply engaged” in the multiyear transformation of his company, which is turning its focus primarily on its food, beverage, household and body care businesses. It is spinning off or selling businesses representing as much as 40% of its assets. Such drastic changes, Palmore said, are not common for companies as large as Sara Lee. He characterized the present period as “an interesting governance time,” adding that he is also involved in accompanying changeovers in the board of directors. Palmore participates in strategic planning for the remaining Sara Lee segments as well, “helping to reshape the way they conduct business.” Palmore said that, “happily,” he has no litigation of consequence to discuss. Referring to his company’s dramatic reconfiguration, he joked that “if I had any more major deals to handle, I would pull my hair out.” As part of his standard duties, Palmore is “absolutely” steeped in Sarbanes-Oxley reporting and disclosure activities. He interacts with various regulators, including officials from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Securities and Exchange Commission. Immigration and homeland security matters sometimes are touched upon, but “not with any frequency.” Sara Lee’s international presence, with a particular concentration in the Netherlands, provides Palmore with exposure to foreign laws. Palmore said that one-half of the company’s legal apparatus is based outside the United States. Emphasis on diversity: “Since long before I arrived,” the Sara Lee Corp. has maintained a diverse work force, which is, according to the company’s manifesto, “essential to our ability to succeed in the global marketplace.” Palmore is “absolutely” an active participant in diversity initiatives, both as a member of the senior management team and in his role as head of Sara Lee’s legal department. He oversees the Preferred Law Partner Program, whereby law firms are evaluated based on their performance in various aspects of diversity. Palmore said that he steers work toward firms that “positively distinguish themselves” in this area; the minority-owned Green and Letts is one example. By contrast, firms that consistently fail diversity tests place their relationships with Sara Lee at risk. Law firms that perform with mediocrity are given the message to do better. Route to present position: Palmore’s legal career commenced at Berkman Ruslander Pohl Lieber & Engel, then a medium-sized Pittsburgh law firm. He practiced there until 1979. A three-year stint as a member of the U.S. attorney’s office in Chicago followed, and then he spent 11 years with Chicago firm Wildman, Harrold, Allen & Dixon. After moving on to Sonnenschein Nath & Rosenthal in 1993, Palmore settled in at Sara Lee Corp. in 1996 as deputy general counsel. He assumed his current duties in 1999. Personal: Palmore and his wife, Lynne, are the parents of sons Jordan, 22, and Adam, 19. Golf, tennis, running and reading fill the attorney’s spare time. A native of Pittsburgh, he graduated with a bachelor’s degree from Yale University in 1974 and received his law degree in 1977 from the University of Chicago Law School. Last book and movie: Million Dollar Baby: Stories From the Corner, by F.X. Toole, and Crash.

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