Ryder System Inc. announced that Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Gregory T. Swienton will retire at the time of the company's annual meeting of shareholders on May 3.

As part of the succession plan approved by Ryder's board of directors, effective Jan. 1, President and Chief Operating Officer Robert E. Sanchez will assume the company's chief executive role, serving as president and CEO.

Swienton will serve in the role of executive chairman until the company's annual meeting of shareholders, at which time, Sanchez will become chairman and CEO. As an added measure of continuity through the transition, Swienton has agreed to serve in an advisory capacity for a period of time following his retirement.

Swienton joined Ryder in June 1999 as president and chief operating officer, a position he held until becoming president and chief executive officer in November 2000. A member of Ryder's board of directors since June 1999, Swienton was named its chairman in May 2002.

Sanchez is a 19-year employee of Ryder who has served in senior executive leadership positions in operations, finance, and information technology. He has been a member of the company's executive leadership team since 2003. Sanchez most recently held the role of president and chief operating officer, in which he was responsible for the general management of all business operations.

Prior to that, he served as president of global fleet management solutions, Ryder's largest business segment. Earlier, he served in a broad range of leadership positions for the corporation and each of its business segments.