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Hourican leaving CVS to head Sysco

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Retail division president will become Sysco's CEO next month.

WOONSOCKET, R.I. — CVS Pharmacy president Kevin Hourican is leaving the company to become president and CEO of food service company Sysco Corp.

Kevin Hourican

“Retail pharmacy and the role pharmacists play in health care are rapidly evolving, and we’ll continue to lead the way in responding to changing patient needs,” said Larry Merlo, president and chief executive officer of CVS Health. “I want to thank Kevin for his contributions to CVS Health and we wish him well in his new role.”

The retailer said that Jon Roberts, CVS Health executive vice president and COO, will lead CVS Pharmacy in an interim capacity while the company conducts an internal and external search for a new leader.

Hourican will succeed Tom Bené, who is stepping down from Houston-based Sysco on January 31. Independent Sysco director Ed Shirley was named to replace Bené as executive chair, and Brad Halverson was appointed new lead independent director, both effective Monday.

While Sysco’s performance has improved steadily the last few years, the company’s board said it believes that the senior leadership changes announced Monday will enable it to accelerate performance, fully capitalize on its scale advantages and drive meaningful operating improvements. Specifically, the board believes Hourican’s expertise across key capabilities — sales, supply chain, logistics, operations and digital technologies — will unlock meaningful value for customers and other key stakeholders.

“The board believes Kevin’s leadership and skill set align strongly with Sysco’s strategic priorities in this next phase of accelerated growth,” said Larry Glasscock, chairman of the company’s governance and nominating committee. “Moreover, Ed’s familiarity with the company and deep experience over decades running highly successful consumer businesses will ensure a smooth leadership transition.”

“We are pleased to welcome Kevin as our new president and CEO,” said Shirley. “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.”

Hourican said, “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.”

Hourican joined CVS in 2012. As president of CVS Pharmacy and executive vice president of CVS Health, Hourican has overseen an $85 billion retail business, including 9,900 retail stores and over 200,000 employees, as well as merchandising, marketing, supply chain, real estate, front store operations, pharmacy growth, pharmacy clinical care and pharmacy operations. He previously held the role of executive vice president, retail pharmacy and supply chain, and led CVS’ pharmacy operations, professional services and retail pharmacy product innovation and development functions, as well as the company’s supply chain organization. Prior to joining CVS, Hourican held executive leadership roles at Macy’s, including senior vice president, and regional director of stores with responsibility for the management of 110 department stores in the Mid-Atlantic region

Shirley joined the 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. He served as president and CEO of Bacardi Ltd. from 2012 to 2014. Prior to that, he was vice chairman of Procter & Gamble and held several senior executive positions during his 27 years with Gillette Co. He is a director of the New York Life Insurance Co. and has previously served as a member of the board of Elizabeth Arden Inc. and Time Warner Cable Inc. He is also a partner in PTW Capital, a recently formed consumer goods private equity firm.

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.

Halverson joined the board in 2016 and is the former group president of financial products and corporate services, and chief financial officer of Caterpillar Inc.

Regarding the financial outlook, Sysco said it remains confident in its ability to achieve its financial objectives and is aligned with current fiscal year consensus estimates.


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