Yum! Brands, Inc. (NYSE:YUM) announced today that its Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, David C. Novak, 61, will become Executive Chairman on January 1, 2015, transitioning from his current role. Novak has served as CEO since 1999, building a global restaurant powerhouse with over 40,000 restaurants in 125 countries.
Once he becomes Executive Chairman, Novak is forming the Office of the Chairman. In addition to Novak, it will be comprised of Sam Su, 62, who will continue to serve as YUM Brands Vice-Chairman and Chairman/CEO of the YUM China Division; and Greg Creed, 56, who will become the next CEO of YUM Brands and will join Novak and Su on the Company’s Board of Directors on January 1, 2015. “This new Office of the Chairman will partner as a triumvirate on overall corporate strategy and leadership development to propel continued growth,” said Novak.
The day-to-day accountability for leading the Company will be transitioned to Mr. Creed on January 1, 2015. Until then, he will continue to serve in his current role as CEO of Taco Bell and work with Mr. Novak to develop the Company’s 2015 operating plan and to ensure a seamless transition. Once becoming YUM Brands CEO, he will lead the overarching strategies, structure, people development and culture that will drive sales and profitability at all of the Company’s businesses worldwide. All YUM functional leaders and divisions will report to Creed, a 20 year veteran with the Company.
“Greg Creed is the ideal leader to become our next CEO. First and foremost, he walks the talk of our culture and is determined to take it to the next level. Next, he is a visionary business leader with a proven track record of results. He made Taco Bell an industry leader, elevating the brand’s esteem and establishing top-tier customer service levels. He is a breakthrough thinker, creating new day parts such as FourthMeal and breakfast, as well as major product lines, such as Doritos Locos Tacos and Cantina Bell. Last but not least, he has a passion for our global business, rooted with international positions at Unilever and at KFC and Pizza Hut in Australia and New Zealand. He is a well-rounded executive having previously served as YUM Brands Chief Operations Officer. There is no doubt in my mind he is fully qualified and equipped with the positive energy we need to lead the Company to the next level,” Novak said.