KFC U.S. on Thursday named John Mays the brand’s director of equity and inclusion, a newly formed role designed to drive organizational changes that address equity issues from the restaurant level to company headquarters.
The announcement came a week after sister company Pizza Hut named Chequan Lewis the brand’s chief equity officer.
It also comes two months after the brands’ parent company Yum Brands vowed to spend $100 million on a global initiative to fight inequality.
At KFC, Mays will lead organizational changes, raise awareness and diversity issues and will develop policies to address equity at restaurants, among franchisees and at headquarters. Mays came to KFC in 2015 as manager of restaurant strategies and most recently has been franchise business coach, working with 1,000 franchise restaurants across 20 states.
KFC said that he played an instrumental role recently in guiding and educating the brand on systemic racism and helped with its external response to the deaths of Breonna Taylor, David McAtee, Ahmaud Arbery, George Floyd and others. “If we can spark change by capturing on the momentum of this moment to become a sustainable movement for our brand, then I believe KFC will have done something extraordinary,” Mays said in a statement.
At Pizza Hut, Lewis will join the U.S. leadership team and will put in place structures and processes to create a more equitable workplace. Lewis joined the Plano, Tex.-based pizza chain as a director on the legal team and most recently led the Pizza Hut Express division as senior director.
“Pizza Hut occupies a unique space in our cultural landscape, and I believe we can help make our world a more vibrant place by chasing equity with intentionality, authenticity and humility,” Lewis said in a statement.