David Gibbs named COO of KFC owner Yum Brands

The company veteran and former CFO will assume operating leadership of the global KFC division.
Photograph: Shutterstock

Yum Brands on Monday named David Gibbs the company’s president and chief operating officer.

Gibbs, a 29-year veteran of the fast-food brand operator, will retain his CFO title until the company can find his replacement. He will also assume operating leadership of the company’s global KFC division as well as the U.S. and international businesses of Pizza Hut and Taco Bell.

The respective leaders of the three brands will report directly to Gibbs, who will continue to report directly to Yum CEO Greg Creed, who will continue to lead the company’s global growth strategy and culture.

David Gibbs/Yum Brands

David Gibbs

Creed called Gibbs “an extraordinarily talented commercial leader with a strong track record of results and deep experience in all three of Yum’s global brands.”

“He has been an invaluable strategic partner to me during a pivotal time for Yum Brands, from the 2016 spinoff of the China business to driving operating, restaurant development and financial strategies that are reshaping KFC, Pizza Hut and Taco Bell into more focused, franchised and efficient businesses,” Creed added.

Gibbs first joined Yum in 1989 and has held a variety of leadership roles in all three of the company’s brands, including global strategy, finance, general management, operations, and real estate. He has spent the past two years as Yum’s president and CFO.

He was the chief architect of Yum’s financial, refranchising and restaurant development strategy that transformed the company into an “asset-light” franchisor following the China spinoff. Gibbs has led the Pizza Hut division and was the president and CFO of Yum Restaurants International. And he has been the company’s chief strategy officer.

“The transformation we started in 2016 is already making Yum Brands a stronger company, franchisor, and investment,” Gibbs said in a statement. He called the company “well positioned to accelerate growth and improve franchise unit economics by leveraging our massive scale and expanding our digital technology and delivery capabilities.”

Yum’s three brands operate more than 48,000 restaurants worldwide in more than 140 countries.

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