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ARMONK, NY - 29 Dec 2008: IBM (NYSE:IBM) today announced that it has signed a seven-year agreement with Sara Lee Corporation (NYSE: SLE) to manage and maintain pieces of the consumer products company's global back office operations. IBM will manage a portion of Sara Lee's North American and European Finance (transaction processing) and Global Information Services (applications development and maintenance) groups, as well as the company's global indirect procurement activities.
As part of its long-term strategy, Sara Lee is building on leading market share positions, leveraging opportunities in emerging markets and driving efficiencies to spur worldwide growth. The company is simplifying its organization to achieve efficiencies through process discipline, functional centers of excellence, integrated supply chains and outsourcing work where appropriate. Through IBM's proposed integrated approach, Sara Lee will look to drive additional cost and efficiency improvements. The transfer of activities will happen in a phased approach in accordance with local consultation requirements.
The agreement between Sara Lee and IBM includes the following:
"Sara Lee's move to globally integrated, back office shared services will be accelerated by their work with IBM," said Bill Gilmour, general manager for IBM Consumer Products. "Working with IBM, Sara Lee will quickly establish an efficient and effective infrastructure utilizing proven transition methodologies and skilled and dedicated project management resources which will allow them to focus on driving growth in their business."
Theo de Kool, Sara Lee's executive vice president and chief financial and administrative officer, added, "IBM is a trusted and long-standing partner of Sara Lee, with deep experience in large, global programs. Through their worldwide Centers of Excellence, IBM has industry-specific competencies on a global scale and capabilities to secure qualified resources."
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