J.T. Battenberg III has resigned from Sara Lee’s board of directors, effective immediately.

Announcing his resignation, Battenberg said that defending himself in a lawsuit filed on Monday (30 October) with the Securities and Exchange Commission relating to his tenure as CEO at Delphi would be a “great distraction”. Under the circumstances, Battenberg concluded that it would be in the best interests of Sara Lee shareholders for him to leave the company’s board of directors.

“We thank J.T. for his contributions to the board of directors. He brought a wealth of strategy and global operating experience to Sara Lee, and we greatly appreciate his commitment and dedication to the company,” Brenda C. Barnes, Sara Lee chairman and chief executive officer, commented.

Battenberg, a former chairman, chief executive officer and president of Delphi, was first elected to Sara Lee’s board in 2002.
The Chicago-based food group said that at its next regularly scheduled meeting the board of directors is expected to reduce its size from 12 directors to 11 directors.