GO
Loading...

Enter multiple symbols separated by commas

Obama's Wife Quits Post On TreeHouse Foods Board

The wife of Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama resigned Tuesday from the board of a food supplier for retail giant Wal-Mart Stores, a target of criticism by the Illinois senator.

Michelle Obama cited the increased demands of his campaign for leaving the board of Westchester, Ill.-based TreeHouse Foods Her position had raised questions because Obama has praised a union-led effort to change working conditions at Wal-Mart .

TreeHouse Foods said in a Securities and Exchange Commission filing that her resignation from the position she has held since 2005 was not due to any disagreement with the company. Last year she earned $51,200 in fees from the company, according to the couple's 2006 tax returns.

"As my campaign commitments continue to ramp up, it is becoming more difficult for me to provide the type of focus I would like on my professional responsibilities," Michelle Obama said in a written statement.

An administrator at the University of Chicago Hospitals, she has significantly curtailed her work hours to campaign for her husband.

The company supplies retail grocery chains with pickles, nondairy powdered creamer and other products. Wal-Mart was its largest customer last year, according to an SEC filing.

Obama and other Democratic presidential contenders have been critical of Wal-Mart, which has taken heat over the wages and benefits it pays employees.

The Arkansas-based company has defended its wages.

One of Barack Obama's chief Democratic rivals, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton of New York, once served on Wal-Mart's board but since has become a critic of its business practices.

Last year, before he declared his candidacy for president, the Illinois senator courted the union-backed group WakeUpWalMart.com.

Contact U.S. News

  • CNBC NEWSLETTERS

    Get the best of CNBC in your inbox

    Please choose a subscription

    Please enter a valid email address
    To learn more about how we use your information,
    please read our Privacy Policy.

Don't Miss

U.S. Video

  • Hero miles for military members: Real estate magnate's plea

    Chairman of the Fisher House Foundation, Ken Fisher, discusses the Hero Miles program with CNBC's Dina Gusovsky. During Military Appreciation Month, Fisher is asking every traveler to donate 1,000 of their miles to replenish the Hero Miles programs that is in danger of running out.

  • Cramer shuts down this market's haters

    "Mad Money" host Jim Cramer on why this market can't stop, won't stop.

  • From the battlefield to the boardroom

    Your Grateful Nation is dedicated to helping Special Forces veterans enter the corporate world and Knot Standard provides complimentary suits to vets. Mad Money's Jim Cramer spoke with Rob Clapper, Your Grateful executive director; John Ballay, Knot Standard co-founder and president; Tej Gill, retired U.S. Navy Seal; and Darren McB, active duty U.S. Navy Seal.