Houston-based SYSCO Corporation, the largest foodservice marketing and distribution organisation in the US, has announced that Richard J. Schnieders, currently president and COO of the company, has been elected chairman and CEO effective 1 January 2003. Schnieders will succeed Charles H. Cotros, who is retiring from the company on 31 December 2002, after a 43-year career in the foodservice distribution industry, including 28 years with SYSCO in various management and executive positions. Schnieders' election is in accordance with the company's planned succession of management.