Sara Lee CEO Brenda Barnes has resigned due to health problems, according to the Wall Street Journal.


The board of directors is considering both internal and external replacements for Barnes, who had a stroke in May, but two likely candidates have already emerged: Marcel Smits, the chief financial officer who has led Sara Lee in Barnes' absence, and Christopher John Fraleigh, head of the company's North American retail unit. Whoever replaces Barnes will be tasked with completing the restructuring she started when she became CEO five years ago. Smits has said that Sara Lee will continue to focus on its increasing coffee sales while improving the operating margin at its bread unit.