Sysco Corp. CEO Bill DeLaney will step down on Jan. 1, 2018, when he will be replaced by president and chief operating officer Tom Bené, the company said Monday.
DeLaney, who has been at the helm of the Houston-based distribution giant since 2009, will remain with the company through Dec. 31, 2018, as an advisor to Bené.
“Today’s announcement represents the successful culmination of the board’s long-range leadership planning process and will result in an orderly transition,” Sysco chairman Jackie Ward said in a statement. “The board is confident that our plan provides a natural progression for Sysco to continue to grow and thrive, and Tom is the ideal candidate to succeed Bill.”
Bené joined Sysco in 2013 and held a variety of roles at the company before he was appointed president and chief operating officer in January 2016. Bené has overseen all of Sysco’s business operations, commercial functions and supply chain organization.
Before coming to Sysco, he spent 23 years at PepsiCo.
“Tom has been a key member of our team and has proven himself as a strong leader with extensive industry experience,” Ward said. “Importantly, with the experience he has gained in various roles he has held, Tom is infinitely familiar with Sysco’s business operations, commercial functions and supply chain organization.”
DeLaney joined Sysco in 1987 and was named CEO in 2009. He has served in several corporate and field leadership positions throughout his career.
He helped solidify Sysco’s role as the country’s largest broadline distributor of food and other goods to restaurants and other foodservice providers.
His tenure will be known for the proposed $8.2 billion merger with rival US Foods that would have created a distribution behemoth — yet was killed in 2015 under the weight of federal resistance.
“Sysco is well positioned to create value for our customers and shareholders for years to come,” DeLaney said in a statement. “Tom has played a leading and critical role in successfully executing our strategy and driving our strong business performance in recent years.”
He called Bené “the absolute right person to lead Sysco to even greater accomplishments in the future.”
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