Sara Lee Corp said on Monday that North American Chief Executive CJ Fraleigh has resigned from the company, as it prepares to split its North American meat business and its international coffee and tea business into separate companies.

We now believe that a different approach is needed to transition the North American business into a pure-play company, Jan Bennink, executive chairman of Sara Lee, said in a statement.

Currently Sara Lee Chief Executive Marcel Smits will run the North American business while a successor is sought for Fraleigh, and Fraleigh will be available to Smits during the transition, the company said.

(Reporting by Brad Dorfman, editing by Gerald E. McCormick)