Prepared meat, entrees and bakery foods giantSara Lee Corp ., Downers Grove, Ill., said it hiredMaria Henryas chief financial officer of Sara Lee’s North American operations, effective July 18, 2011. Officials said Henry later will serve as Sara Lee's chief financial officer in spring 2012, after the company spins off its International Coffee and Tea business.

Henry, 44, will have responsibility for planning, implementing, managing and controlling all financial-related activities for the North American business. After the spin-off, she will also lead the accounting, tax, treasury, investor relations, financial shared services and information technology (IT) functions, officials said. Henry will report to CJ Fraleigh, chief executive officer, Sara Lee North America.

“Maria is a true asset to our leadership team,” said Fraleigh. “She’s an experienced, results-oriented finance executive who has worked with large multinational organizations and small and mid-sized companies, both public and private. I expect her to quickly contribute to our business as we continue to prepare for our debut as a stand-alone, publicly-traded company.”

Henry joins Sara Lee from Culligan International, where she served as executive vice president and chief financial officer and led the finance organization as well as IT, strategy and business development. Prior to Culligan, Henry was the chief financial officer for Vastera, a global trade management solutions company, held various financial and strategic leadership positions for private equity firm Clayton, Dubilier & Rice’s portfolio companies and served as chief financial officer for U.S. Office Products. She also served as vice president, investor relations for Wang Global, and began her career at General Electric, where she participated in GE’s financial management training program.

Sara Lee's refrigerated and frozen foods portfolio includes Ball Park, Hillshire Farm and Jimmy Dean prepared meats and entrees as well as Sara Lee frozen bakery foods.