In May, the company announced that Barnes was on temporary medical leave, but did not specify the reason. The news came in a statement from Barnes, who noted that she was aware that there has been a lot of speculation about her condition, and confirmed that she is recuperating from a stroke suffered a few weeks ago.
Barnes, a former PepsiCo executive, joined Sara Lee in 2004 as COO and was named CEO the following year.
Sara Lee CFO Marcel Smits is handling the CEO responsibilities while Barnes recuperates, and board member James Crown has assumed the role of chairman.
Sara Lee said that it will update stockholders on Barnes's condition and its plans by its fiscal Q4 earnings call on Aug. 12.