Sysco recently announced critical changes to its leadership team, including the appointment of a new President and CEO, Kevin Hourican. Hourican will succeed Tom Bené effective January 31, 2020. Bené will stay on as an Executive Advisor until March 1, to be available to assist with a smooth and orderly transition of leadership.
“I am thrilled to join the Sysco team. Sysco has an exceptional business model and significant headroom for profitable growth,” Hourican commented. “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."
According to a press release, Hourican most recently served as Executive Vice President of CVS Health and President of CVS Pharmacy, and is a proven business leader with two decades of experience driving market-leading growth for large organizations. Prior to joining CVS Health, 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.
“As part of a deliberate and thoughtful process to ensure Sysco is best positioned for its next phase of development, we are pleased to announce Kevin Hourican as the company’s new president and CEO,” said Larry Glasscock, Chairman of the Governance and Nominating Committee. “The board believes Kevin’s leadership and skill set 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.”
Sysco’s board believes that its latest senior leadership changes will enable the company to accelerate performance, fully capitalize on its scale advantages, and drive meaningful operating improvements. Specifically, the board believes Hourican’s expertise across key company capabilities—sales, supply chain, logistics, operations, and digital technologies—will unlock meaningful value for customers and other key stakeholders.
“I have been honored to lead Sysco over the last few years and I am incredibly proud of all that our team has accomplished,” added Bené. “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.”
In addition to this monumental transition, Sysco elected the lead Independent Director Ed Shirley as Executive Chair, replacing Tom Bené. Additionally, Brad Halverson has been elected as the new lead Independent Director. Both changes will be effective January 13.
As Executive Chair, Shirley will work closely with 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 as our new President and CEO,” Shirley began. “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 skill set 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.”
He continued, “Tom has made many significant contributions to Sysco and the board and I are grateful for his leadership, integrity, and dedication to our associates and customers. During his seven years at Sysco, he led important strategic initiatives that strengthened the company’s overall performance and increased shareholder value. As CEO, he also renewed our focus on the customer, fostered a culture of empowerment, and elevated the importance of corporate social responsibility, all of which will underpin our future success. The entire board thanks Tom for his dedication and service and we wish him well in his next endeavors.”
Shirley joined Sysco’s board in 2016 and has served as 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.
Congrats to Sysco on such integral leadership changes! Deli Market News will continue to report the latest news like this as it relates to the deli, dairy, bakery, and specialty foods industry.