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CHICAGO � Roderick ‘Rick’ Palmore, who as general counsel at Sara Lee Corp. has pushed outside law firms to diversity their attorney ranks, is leaving the Chicago area consumer food company to join Minneapolis rival General Mills Inc. Palmore will join General Mills on Feb. 11 as general counsel and executive vice president with oversight for worldwide legal activities, corporate security and ethics, and compliance, his new employer said in a press release. Palmore, 55, said he was attracted to the job at General Mills because of the broader work responsibilities he will have there and considered this the right time to make a change in his career. Palmore, who is African-American, in 2004 began a campaign that called on U.S. companies’ legal departments and law firms to increase women and minority lawyers in their ranks and asked general counsels to agree to limit their ties with or fire firms that didn’t meet certain criteria on hiring and promoting a diverse set of attorneys. The “Call to Action” effort, which was supported by the America Bar Association, gained support from about 100 companies, including General Mills, Hewlett Packard Co. and General Motors Corp. Palmore will succeed Siri Marshall, who left General Mills this month after 14 years with the company.

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