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Sysco Announces CFO Retirement, Shares Transition Process


Houston-based Sysco Corp. has announced that Aaron Alt will step down as EVP and CFO, effective Jan. 6, to accept another opportunity.

“It has been a privilege to work with such an incredible team and I’m proud of all that we have accomplished to enhance the company’s financial position,” Alt said. “Sysco is well-positioned for future growth and I will continue to follow the company closely as the team builds on the positive momentum it has achieved under Kevin’s leadership.”

Neil Russell, SVP of corporate affairs and chief communications officer, has been appointed interim CFO. As part of his current and previous roles, Russell brings experience leading investor relations, financial planning and analysis, treasury, as well as other financial functions. The company has commenced a search for a permanent successor with the assistance of an independent recruitment firm.

“On behalf of our entire team, I thank Aaron for his many contributions to Sysco,” said Kevin Hourican, president and CEO. “Under his financial leadership, we have strengthened our balance sheet and credit rating, improved business planning and forecast capabilities, and made important investments in our supply chain. Aaron also led a process to achieve significant cost reductions and a strong capital allocation program. We wish Aaron well in his next endeavor.

“Neil brings extensive and relevant expertise to the Interim CFO role. He is qualified, respected both internally and externally, and well-equipped to support the continued execution of our financial strategy. During his tenure with Sysco, he has led investor relations, government relations, sustainability and communications in addition to serving as treasurer. We are grateful that he has stepped into this role while we conduct a search for a successor.”

Most recently, Russell has served as SVP of corporate affairs and chief communications officer, also accountable for Sysco’s investor relations, corporate social responsibility and government relations functions. He began his Sysco career in 2007 as VP of investor relations, managing relationships with equity markets and expanding its shareholder base. In 2014, he served as SVP of corporate affairs at International Paper, where he led the company’s investor relations, communications, CSR and government relations functions.

Russell rejoined Sysco in 2015 as VP of investor relations, and while in that role, took on the additional responsibility of treasurer. Prior to Sysco, Russell held roles in strategic planning, revenue management and financial auditing at America West Airlines, and investor relations, financial planning and analysis, mergers, acquisitions and strategic planning at Delta Air Lines.

“I am proud to serve in the role as interim CFO, and look forward to working with Kevin and our talented finance team to continue to execute on our strategy and drive value for our shareholders,” Russell said.

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