LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Yum! Brands, Inc.’s board of directors has unanimously elected David Gibbs as Chief Executive Officer, effective January 1, 2020, and appointed him to the company’s board, effective November 1, 2019.
Gibbs, who currently serves as Yum! Brands president and Chief Operating Officer and oversees the global KFC, Pizza Hut and Taco Bell divisions, will succeed Greg Creed, who is retiring at the end of 2019 following a 25-year career with the company.
“I’ve had the privilege of partnering with our franchisees to grow the three iconic brands within the Yum! Brands portfolio for over 30 years and am honoured to follow in Greg’s footsteps,” says Gibbs. “It’s thanks to Greg’s terrific leadership and innovative brand-building during some of the most pivotal moments in our history that Yum! Brands has emerged as a vibrant and industry-leading growth company.”
Creed has served as Yum! Brands CEO since January 2015. As CEO, he successfully executed the 2016 spinoff of Yum China, led Yum! Brands’ transformation to become more focused, franchised and efficient and helped the company deliver strong and consistent financial performance. Creed previously led the global Taco Bell Division as its CEO.
“It’s been an incredible journey at Yum! Brands during the past 25 years and my absolute privilege to serve as CEO during such an exciting time for our company,” says Creed. “I’m proud of how we’re emerging from our multi-year transformation as a more focused, franchised and efficient growth company. The best of Yum! is still to come and I’m delighted we have an exceptional leader like David who will drive the next wave of growth for our company.”
Creed remains CEO through the end of 2019 to ensure a smooth transition. He will serve as a part-time advisor next year and also remain on the Yum! Brands board of directors.
As Yum! Brands CEO, Gibbs will assume responsibility for the company’s overarching strategies, structure, people development and culture and will focus on driving global growth and sales and profitability at all Yum! franchise businesses worldwide.
Since joining in 1989, Gibbs has held a variety of leadership roles in all three of Yum!’s brands, including global strategy, finance, general management, operations and real estate. Earlier this year, he was promoted to an expanded role as president and Chief Operating Officer, assuming operating leadership of the global KFC, Pizza Hut and Taco Bell divisions. Before this role, he served as Yum! Brands president and Chief Financial Officer and was the chief architect of the company’s financial, refranchising and restaurant-development strategy to transform the company into a capital-light, pure-play franchisor.