Sara Lee Corporation announced yesterday that it has appointed Robert S. Kopriva president and chief executive officer of Sara Lee Foods U.S., effective immediately. Kopriva will continue to report to William A. Geoppinger, senior vice president of the corporation and chief executive officer of Sara Lee Foods, with responsibilities for global operations.

Kopriva, 50, who most recently served as president, Sara Lee Foods U.S. - Supply Chain, will be responsible for Sara Lee Meats and Bakery operations in the United States. With sales of $3.5 billion, Sara Lee's U.S. meats and bakery businesses market well-known brands such as Sara Lee, Ball Park, Best's Kosher, Hillshire Farm, Jimmy Dean, Bryan and Kahn's.

A 20-year veteran of Sara Lee, Kopriva joined the company in 1981 and has held a number of management positions of increasing responsibility. He was named president and chief executive officer of Sara Lee's Jimmy Dean Foods division in 1996 and was elected a vice president of the corporation last year.

Prior to joining Sara Lee, Kopriva was an audit manager in the Chicago office of Price Waterhouse.

Kopriva earned a bachelor of science degree in accounting from the University of Illinois and a master of management degree from Northwestern University.

Sara Lee Corporation (www.saralee.com) is a global branded consumer packaged goods company with approximately $17.5 billion in annual revenues. Its leading brands include Sara Lee, Douwe Egberts, Hillshire Farm, Kiwi, Hanes and Playtex.