updated 11/19/2010 6:45:58 AM ET 2010-11-19T11:45:58

HOUSTON, Nov. 18, 2010 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Sysco Corporation (NYSE:SYY) announced today that Michael C. Nichols, senior vice president, administration, general counsel and corporate secretary, has announced his plan to retire effective December 31, 2010. Russell T. Libby, currently vice president and assistant general counsel, will become vice president, general counsel and corporate secretary following Mr. Nichols' retirement.

Sysco's President and Chief Executive Officer Bill DeLaney stated, "We appreciate Mike's contributions to Sysco's success over the course of his career and we are very pleased to begin working with Russell in his new role."

Mr. Nichols said, "I greatly appreciate the significant opportunities which Sysco offered me. As I transition into my new life, I leave Sysco with the firm belief that our talented employees will hold fast to our history of integrity, good judgment and solution-oriented, hard work."

During his tenure as a Sysco officer, Mr. Nichols has been responsible for a broad range of corporate activities including the corporate legal and human resources functions, mergers and acquisitions, government and community affairs, enterprise risk management, safety, crisis management, corporate governance and ethics compliance. He served as chief legal counsel to nine different board chairmen, chief executive officers and chief operating officers.

About Mr. Nichols

Michael C. Nichols, 58, began his Sysco career in 1981 as general counsel at the company's corporate office in Houston, a position he held through 1988.  In 1991 he rejoined Sysco as vice president of management development and human resources; in 1998 he became general counsel and assumed additional responsibilities as corporate secretary in 2002; in 2006 he was promoted to senior vice president, adding his current responsibilities for administration in 2009. Mr. Nichols was born and raised in Birmingham, Alabama. He is a graduate of Brown University, where he earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in history in 1974. He then earned his J.D. degree from Emory University School of Law in 1977. Mr. Nichols served two terms in the Georgia State House of Representatives from 1977 to 1981. In Houston, his volunteer efforts have included service as a board member and chairman of the Houston Food Bank, chairman of the City of Houston Civil Service Commission, and service as a trustee on the Houston Police Officers Pension Plan. He is active in a variety of other charitable civic and Jewish organizations. Mr. Nichols and his wife, Marcia, have four children and reside in Houston.

About Mr. Libby

Russell T. Libby, 44, joined Sysco in 2007 as assistant vice president, mergers & acquisitions and real estate, and was promoted to his current position in 2009. He began his career in 1991 as a corporate associate with Arnall Golden Gregory, LLP, in Atlanta, GA. In 1995, he joined Liuski International, Inc., a computer distribution and manufacturing company, as general counsel, vice president, human resources and secretary. From 1997 through 2007 he held various positions of increasing responsibility with the North American unit of COFRA Holding A.G., a Swiss international conglomerate, culminating in serving as president, COFRA North America and vice president, legal for Good Energies, Inc., an affiliated investment advisor. Born in Owensboro, Kentucky, Mr. Libby was raised in La Grange, Georgia and Richmond, Virginia. In 1988 he received his Bachelor of Arts degree in international relations from the University of Virginia and in 1991 earned a J.D. degree from Emory University School of Law. Mr. Libby and his wife Debra have a son and a daughter and reside in Katy, Texas.

About Sysco

Sysco is the global leader in selling, marketing and distributing food products to restaurants, healthcare and educational facilities, lodging establishments and other customers who prepare meals away from home. Its family of products also includes equipment and supplies for the foodservice and hospitality industries. The company operates 180 distribution facilities serving approximately 400,000 customers. For the fiscal year 2010 that ended July 3, 2010, the company generated more than $37 billion in sales. For more information about Sysco, visit the company's Internet home page at www.sysco.com .

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