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The Wall Street Journal reports on the passing, at age 63, of Brenda Barnes, the former CEO of Sara Lee Corp., who during her tenure "became a symbol of the hard choices women face juggling work and family life."

The story notes that "Barnes caused a media sensation in 1997 when she gave up her job as head of North American beverage operations for PepsiCo Inc., saying she wanted to spend more time with her three children, then aged 7, 8 and 10. She was one of the highest-ranking women in corporate America, and her departure fueled the debate over the extent to which family duties kept women out of executive suites. Newspapers and magazines wrote long essays on the topic."

After she left PepsiCo, Barnes was active on a number of boards, and then, in 2004, joined Sara Lee. In 2010, she suffered a stroke, and then resigned when it became clear that it would be a lengthy recovery.

Barnes suffered another stroke last Sunday, and passed away on Tuesday.
KC's View:
There is a lovely thing that Barnes once said on the "Today Show" about why she left PepsiCo. It wasn't because her kids needed more of her, she said, but “because I need more of them."