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Brenda C. Barnes
Brenda C. Barnes
Title: Chairman and CEO
Company: Sara Lee
Fortune 500 rank: 180
Age: 55
Compensation: $15.2 million

In her fifth year atop Sara Lee, CEO Brenda Barnes continues to streamline the company with the goal of returning it to its food-centric roots.

That includes tossing home and cleaning product businesses. Last year, Barnes unloaded the company's Ambi Pur unit, which makes home scents, to Procter and Gamble for $470 million. Meanwhile, Unilever picked up Sara Lee's soaps and personal care products (mostly foreign brands) for $1.88 billion.

While selling off businesses that don't fit her vision, Barnes, a 22-year veteran of PepsiCo before joining Sara Lee, has ramped up marketing efforts on the meals and treats she believes in -- like Jimmy Dean breakfast products, which she has pushed to the forefront of her promotional agenda.

NEXT: Andrea Jung

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Last updated April 22 2010: 11:58 AM ET
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