US food group Sara Lee has appointed telecoms executive Marcel Smits as its CFO.

The appointment will come into effect on 1 October, when Smits will assume responsibility for Sara Lee's accounting, tax, treasury, procurement and information technology departments. He will report to directly to CEO Brenda Barnes.

"Marcel brings great finance, leadership and international expertise, and we're delighted to have him join our team," said Barnes. "He's a seasoned professional with broad experience in consumer packaged goods and retail and we expect him to quickly contribute to our finance, operations and global business strategy."

Smits joins Sara Lee from Dutch telecom leader Koninklijke, where he served as chief financial officer and as a member of the management board.

He has also held the post of CFO of Dutch retail group Vendex, as well as holding various financial and management positions at Unilever in Europe, South America and Asia.