(Feb. 26) A new president and chief operating officer heads a list of promotions at Houston-based Sysco Corp.

Sysco, the largest broadline foodservice distributor in North America, said Feb. 23 it had promoted 21-year company veteran Kenneth Spitler to president and chief operating officer, effective July 1.

Spitler will move up from his current role as executive vice president and president of Sysco’s North American foodservice operations.

Spitler, 57, also has been president and chief executive officer of the firm’s Detroit and Houston broadline arms and senior vice president of operations for the company’s Northeast region.

“It’s all about sales and earnings growth, and I believe we can achieve that growth by leveraging our market leadership position to continuously improve how our associates buy, handle, and market the products that our customers depend on for their success,” Spitler said in a news release.

Sysco also announced numerous other moves.

Larry Accardi, 58, currently executive vice president of contract sales and president of the specialty division companies since 2002, will be retiring, effective Dec. 31.

Joseph Barton, 48, currently group president of sourcing for the company’s strategy group since December 2005, is moving up to senior vice president of sourcing. Barton, a 24-year Sysco veteran, began his career at Lankford-Sysco, the firm’s broadline operation near Baltimore.

Robert Davis, 48, will become senior vice president of market development, responsible for identifying new growth opportunities for Sysco. Davis, a 33-year Sysco employee, had been senior vice president of contract sales since October 2004.

William Day, 50, was promoted from vice president of supply chain management to senior vice president of supply chain. A 24-year Sysco veteran, he has led the implementation of the company’s redistribution network and supply chain redesign since 2000. He moves up from a position he had held since May 2003.

James Hope, 47, president of demand in the company’s strategy group, is moving up to senior vice president of sales and marketing. With Sysco for 20 years, Hope moves up from a job he had held since December 2005.

Mark Palmer, 45, currently group president of communication and collaboration in the strategy group, was promoted to vice president of corporate communications. He joined Sysco in September 2006.