HOUSTON, Sept. 30, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Sysco Corporation (NYSE:SYY) announced today that Manuel A. (Manny) Fernandez, executive chairman of Sysco's board of directors, will not seek re-election as a board member and will retire at the company's 2013 Annual Meeting of Stockholders in Houston on Nov. 15. Fernandez, who has served on Sysco's board for seven years, was appointed executive chairman in April 2012. Prior to that, he served as chairman of the board since June 2009. Fernandez's appointment as executive chairman allowed Sysco to more directly use his talent and experience to oversee technology and also to provide strategic leadership to the company. Fernandez was successful in attracting new leadership to the business technology team, including Chief Technology Officer Wayne Shurts, and also identifying key issues and setting a new direction for the technology component of the company's business transformation initiative. In addition, Fernandez worked with the business development team to accelerate acquisitions to enhance the growth of the company, and he supported the evolution of Sysco Ventures. Finally, he assisted President and Chief Executive Officer Bill DeLaney in augmenting the senior leadership team and finalizing a new strategic plan. "I believe that I have accomplished the tasks set forth by the board when I was appointed executive chairman 17 months ago," said Fernandez. "I am leaving the company in good hands and have great confidence in the future of the enterprise. I look forward to having more time to spend with my family." "We appreciate all of Manny's contributions to Sysco over the past seven years. I personally valued his mentoring as I progressed into the role of president and CEO. We wish him all the best in his future endeavors," said DeLaney. Lead Director Jackie Ward said, "The board expresses much gratitude and appreciation for the leadership roles Manny has executed during his tenure with the company. His commitment, dedication and hands-on involvement leave a strong, lasting and valued legacy throughout our company."