US food distribution giant Sysco changes CEO to “accelerate performance”

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Tom Bené stepping down from his roles as president and chief executive officer.

In a press release, Houston-based Sysco writes that its board of directors has unanimously elected Kevin Hourican – former executive vice president of CVS Health and president of CVS Pharmacy – as the company’s new president and chief executive officer, starting on February 1st. Chief Executive Tom Bene is stepping down after two years in the role.

The company said that the change will enable it to “accelerate performance”.

Lead independent director Ed Shirley is now executive chair, replacing Tom Bené, and Brad Halverson has been elected as the new lead independent director.

Kevin Hourican. PHOTO: CVS Health

Shirley said: “We are pleased to welcome Kevin as our new president and CEO. Kevin brings a demonstrated track record of delivering strong growth, market share gains, customer service improvement and operational efficiencies within large and complex environments, having run an $85 billion business and leading large divisions at multi-unit retailers. He takes a strategic approach to winning in underdeveloped markets while driving new 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.”

Distribution multinational Sysco generated sales of USD 60 billion in 2019. In the US, it offers seafood products to foodservice operators through its Portico Bounty brand.

It acquired the British food and distribution company Brakes in 2016, which supplies food, drink as well as M & J Seafood-sourced fish to the catering industry in the UK through more than 20 distribution centres.

Hourican added: “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.”