Close this search box.
Close this search box.

Under CEO Thomas L. Bené, Sysco Forges Ahead With Strategic Plans

Under CEO Thomas L. Bené, food distributor Sysco continues to beat Wall Street expectations.

Under CEO Thomas L. Bené, food distributor Sysco’s fourth-quarter earnings beat analysts’ expectations.

The Houston-based company reported net earnings of $535.8 million, or $1.03 a share, up from $448.9 million, or 85 cents a share, a year ago. Adjusted earnings were $1.10 a share, beating analysts’ expectations of $1.07. Revenue totaled $15.47 billion, short of analysts’ expectation for $15.62 billion.

For fiscal 2019, earnings totaled $1.7 billion, or $3.20 a share, up about 17% from the previous year. Sales totaled $60.1 billion, up 2.4% from the prior year.

“Sysco saw improved year-over-year performance in the fourth quarter and fiscal year 2019,” Bené said in the company’s press release. “We continue to focus on our customers and are furthering the progress of our transformative initiatives, which we believe will increase the ease of doing business with Sysco, position us well for the long-term and create value for our shareholders in fiscal year 2020 and beyond.”

Wall Street analysts continue to be upbeat about Sysco, which markets and distributes food products and related foodservice supplies to restaurants and other commercial facilities across the globe.

“While near-term case growth trends appear slightly weaker, we remain bullish on the longer-term outlook for independent restaurants” and Sysco’s “potential to grow in this higher-margin segment, which we believe supports a rational competitive backdrop,” BMO Capital Markets analyst Kelly Bania wrote in a note.

Bené joined Sysco in 2013 as executive vice president and chief merchandising officer, overseeing the merchandising, inbound supply chain and quality assurance functions. In 2014, he became commercial officer, taking on responsibility for the company’s commercial agenda. In 2015, he also became president, food service operations, where he added to his prior role, responsibility for all U.S. operations.

Bené in 2016 was promoted to company president and chief operating officer, and in 2018, was named CEO and a member of Sysco’s board, later becoming chairman.

Prior to joining Sysco, Bené spent 23 years in positions of increasing responsibility at PepsiCo, where his last position was president of the North American food service business.

“Bené understands how the systems works in the large corporate companies,” writes Money Inc. “He’s very good at delivering high performance in everything he does on the job.”


He’s No. 54 on Chief Executive and RHR International’s CEO1000 Tracker, a ranking of the top 1,000 public/private companies

Headquarters: Houston, TX

Age: 56

Education: University of Kansas

First joined company: 2013

Prior to joining Prudential: PepsiCo

Named CEO: 2018


  • Get the CEO Briefing

    Sign up today to get weekly access to the latest issues affecting CEOs in every industry
  • upcoming events


    Strategic Planning Workshop

    1:00 - 5:00 pm

    Over 70% of Executives Surveyed Agree: Many Strategic Planning Efforts Lack Systematic Approach Tips for Enhancing Your Strategic Planning Process

    Executives expressed frustration with their current strategic planning process. Issues include:

    1. Lack of systematic approach (70%)
    2. Laundry lists without prioritization (68%)
    3. Decisions based on personalities rather than facts and information (65%)


    Steve Rutan and Denise Harrison have put together an afternoon workshop that will provide the tools you need to address these concerns.  They have worked with hundreds of executives to develop a systematic approach that will enable your team to make better decisions during strategic planning.  Steve and Denise will walk you through exercises for prioritizing your lists and steps that will reset and reinvigorate your process.  This will be a hands-on workshop that will enable you to think about your business as you use the tools that are being presented.  If you are ready for a Strategic Planning tune-up, select this workshop in your registration form.  The additional fee of $695 will be added to your total.

    To sign up, select this option in your registration form. Additional fee of $695 will be added to your total.

    New York, NY: ​​​Chief Executive's Corporate Citizenship Awards 2017

    Women in Leadership Seminar and Peer Discussion

    2:00 - 5:00 pm

    Female leaders face the same issues all leaders do, but they often face additional challenges too. In this peer session, we will facilitate a discussion of best practices and how to overcome common barriers to help women leaders be more effective within and outside their organizations. 

    Limited space available.

    To sign up, select this option in your registration form. Additional fee of $495 will be added to your total.

    Golf Outing

    10:30 - 5:00 pm
    General’s Retreat at Hermitage Golf Course
    Sponsored by UBS

    General’s Retreat, built in 1986 with architect Gary Roger Baird, has been voted the “Best Golf Course in Nashville” and is a “must play” when visiting the Nashville, Tennessee area. With the beautiful setting along the Cumberland River, golfers of all capabilities will thoroughly enjoy the golf, scenery and hospitality.

    The golf outing fee includes transportation to and from the hotel, greens/cart fees, use of practice facilities, and boxed lunch. The bus will leave the hotel at 10:30 am for a noon shotgun start and return to the hotel after the cocktail reception following the completion of the round.

    To sign up, select this option in your registration form. Additional fee of $295 will be added to your total.