The new dividend is payable Jan. 26. 2007, to common shareholders of record at the close of business on Jan. 5, 2007.
Richard J. Schnieders, chairman, ceo and president, said, "Our shareholders have received more than $2.6 billion in the form of dividend payouts since our founding. Today's announcement is SYSCO's 38th dividend increase in our 37-year history and is testament to the Board's continued confidence in our ability to grow our business, generate consistent gains in sales and earnings, increase cash flow and gain market share."
The company also announced that Jonathan Golden, Joseph A. Hafner, Jr., Nancy S. Newcomb and Richard J. Schnieders were all reelected as Class II directors to serve an additional three-year term, and Manual A. Fernandez was elected to a one-year term as a Class III director.
Fernandez, 60, has been the managing director of SI Ventures, a venture capital firm, since 1998 and chairman emeritus of Gartner, Inc., a leading information technology research and consulting company, since 2001. Prior to his present positions, Fernandez was chairman, president, and chief executive officer of Gartner. Fernandez also serves on the board of directors of Brunswick Corp., Flowers Foods, Inc., The Black & Decker Corp. and several private companies and foundations. He is also chairman of the board of trustees of the University of Florida.
In other matters, shareholders approved the appointment of Ernst & Young as independent accountants of the corporation. Shareholders also approved a non-binding resolution requesting that the Board of Directors implement a majority vote policy. The Board of Directors had neither recommended shareholders vote for or against the proposal.
The distributorship's board directed the Corporate Governance and Nominating Committee to conduct a study of corporate governance best practices and to recommend appropriate governance-related amendments for adoption to the Company's Bylaws and Corporate Governance Guidelines. The committee said it preliminarily indicated that such recommendations will include, at a minimum, adding an appropriate majority vote standard and the Board will take into consideration the stockholder vote on this proposal when considering the Corporate Governance and Nominating Committee's recommendations.