Paragon Intel

Published on April 14, 2024

Featured Article

Sysco (SYY) Long: 28.8% Alpha Based on CEO Kevin Hourican’s Leadership

On June 15, 2020, ManagementTrack recommended a long position on Sysco (SYY), driven by the appointment of Kevin Hourican as CEO. Our conviction in Sysco’s potential under Hourican’s leadership was based on his intense, results-driven approach and his successful track record at CVS Health, where he demonstrated an ability to drive growth and operational efficiency.

ManagementTrack’s Investigative Process

  1. In-depth Executive Analysis: We conducted a thorough analysis of Kevin Hourican’s professional background, focusing on his achievements and leadership style during his tenure at CVS Health.
  2. Interviews with Peers: Our team of investigative journalists interviewed former colleagues and industry experts who had worked closely with Hourican, gathering insights into his strengths, weaknesses, and management approach.
  3. Strategic Fit Evaluation: We evaluated how Hourican’s experience and skills would translate to Sysco’s context, particularly in addressing the company’s challenges and capitalizing on market opportunities.

Why ManagementTrack Believed They Would Succeed

  1. Proven Track Record: Hourican’s success in transforming CVS Pharmacy into a more customer-centric and operationally efficient business indicated his capability to drive similar improvements at Sysco.
  2. Strategic Vision: His focus on leveraging technology and improving supply chain efficiencies aligned with Sysco’s needs to enhance its competitive edge and operational margins.
  3. Leadership Style: Hourican’s intense, direct leadership style was deemed a good fit for instigating the necessary changes within Sysco, fostering a culture of accountability and results-oriented performance.

Outcome and Performance

The recommendation to go long on Sysco generated 28.8% alpha, validating ManagementTrack’s process and the assessment of Kevin Hourican’s potential impact. Under his leadership, Sysco expanded its market share, improved operational efficiencies, and navigated the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic effectively.

Key Takeaways

  1. Leadership Matters: The case underscores the significant impact that executive leadership can have on a company’s performance and market valuation.
  2. Fit is Crucial: Hourican’s skills and experience were well-suited to address Sysco’s specific challenges, highlighting the importance of strategic fit in executive appointments.
  3. Comprehensive Analysis Pays Off: ManagementTrack’s process of combining in-depth executive analysis with investigative journalism provided a solid basis for the successful recommendation.


The Sysco case study exemplifies how ManagementTrack’s unique approach to evaluating executive leadership can uncover significant investment opportunities. Kevin Hourican’s appointment as CEO of Sysco was a pivotal moment that aligned with our analysis, leading to substantial returns for investors who followed our recommendation.

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