Sysco Changes Top Leadership, Names Kevin Hourican as New CEO

Sysco Corporation announced that Tom Bené will be stepping down from his roles as president and chief executive officer, effective January 31st, 2020. To replace him, the board of directors elected Kevin Hourican as the Company’s new president and chief executive officer, starting on February 1st, 2020.

The board has elected lead independent director Ed Shirley as executive chair, replacing Tom Bené, and Brad Halverson has been elected as the new lead independent director, both effective, January 13th, 2020, according to a press release.

Bené will stay on with Sysco as an executive advisor until March 1, 2020, to be available to assist with a smooth and orderly transition of leadership for the Company.

“I have been honored to lead Sysco over the last few years and I am incredibly proud of all that our team has accomplished. Sysco’s leading market position in the foodservice industry, our unique capabilities, and talented associates have positioned us well for the future. It has truly been an honor and a privilege to work alongside our 69,000 dedicated associates to bring our strategy to life,” said Bené.

Sysco Tom Bené - Kevin Hourican
Tom Bené lead Sysco for the past two years.

While Sysco’s performance has improved the last few years steadily, the board believes that the senior leadership changes will enable the company to accelerate performance, fully capitalize on its scale advantages and drive meaningful operating improvements.

“The board believes Kevin’s leadership and skillset align strongly with Sysco’s strategic priorities in this next phase of accelerated growth. Moreover, Ed’s familiarity with the company and deep experience over decades running highly successful consumer businesses will ensure a smooth leadership transition,” said Larry Glasscock, chairman of the governance and nominating committee.

Hourican most recently served as executive vice president of CVS Health and president of CVS Pharmacy, overseeing CVS’ $85 billion retail business, including its 9,900 retail stores and over 200,000 employees.

Before joining CVS Health, Kevin Hourican held executive leadership roles at Macy’s, most recently serving as senior vice president, regional director of stores, responsible for the management of 110 department stores in the Mid-Atlantic region. He holds an undergraduate degree in economics and a master’s degree in supply chain management from The Pennsylvania State University.

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“I am thrilled to join the Sysco team. Sysco has an exceptional business model and significant headroom for profitable growth. I look forward to working with Ed, the board, and the talented global team to continue the company’s success and identify new opportunities to enhance our market leadership and long-term growth prospects,” said Hourican.

As executive chair, Shirley will work closely with Kevin Hourican to ensure a smooth and successful transition, lead the board of directors and provide input on key strategic priorities.

“We are pleased to welcome Kevin Hourican as our new president and CEO. He takes a strategic approach to win in underdeveloped markets while driving innovation. The board is highly confident Kevin has the skillset and vision to capture the opportunities ahead and we look forward to working with him and the full leadership team to deliver enhanced value for shareholders,” said Shirley.

Ed Shirley joined the board in 2016 and has served as a lead independent director since November 2018. He has substantial experience in executive leadership, strategy development, marketing/brand development and business operations, both domestically and globally, developed in his various senior executive positions with large consumer products companies.

Brad Halverson joined the board in 2016 and is the former group president, financial products and corporate services, and chief financial officer of Caterpillar Inc.

Regarding the financial outlook, the company remains confident in its ability to achieve its financial objectives and is aligned with current fiscal year consensus estimates.