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.
Credit: Sysco.com

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


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