James Carlson, former CEO of Sara Lee Foods, passed away July 25 in Chicago at age 68. The cause of death was a brain tumor. Carlson joined Sara Lee's law department as an assistant counsel in 1973 and went on to become a vice president of corporate development who oversaw a series of major acquisitions, including Coach, Jimmy Dean and Kiwi. He later became CFO of Sara Lee Bakery and then CEO of Sara Lee's PYA Monarch foodservice distribution business before taking on leadership of Sara Lee Foods. He retired from the company in 2002.