DEFINITION of 'C. Steven McMillan'

A former CEO of Sara Lee from 2000 to 2005. Sara Lee sells frozen and packaged foods, including baked goods, beverages and meat, along with household products such as body care, shoe care, insecticides and detergents. McMillan took over at a time when the company was struggling, and under his executive leadership, he worked to streamline the company's 200-plus brands. Nonetheless, the company's revenue and operating income declined as the company faced competition from low-cost imports and inexpensive store brands.

BREAKING DOWN 'C. Steven McMillan'

Another setback McMillan experienced was the result of his decision to acquire the baked-goods company EarthGrains. The move was unpopular with investors because they were unhappy with the price paid for the company and because anticipated gains from the decision never materialized. He was also the subject of a sexual discrimination lawsuit in 2004.


McMillan was born in 1946 and earned an MBA with honors from Harvard Business School. In addition to Sara Lee, he has been a board member with Aero Toy Store, Inc., Bank of America, Monsanto, Electrolux, Illinova and Pharmacia & Upjohn.

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