Taco Bell on Friday named Julie Felss Masino the company’s brand president as part of a series of changes and additions to the company’s management team designed to drive more global growth and bolster the chain’s technology efforts.
Masino will be responsible for driving innovation, new store development and a “frictionless customer experience” and will work with the chain’s franchisees, the company said.
The addition of Masino will come with “a renewed focus on technology and greater access to the brand for consumers,” Taco Bell CEO Brian Niccol said in a statement.
The addition of Masino will enable Niccol “to focus on the company’s growth as a global brand while continuing to oversee the U.S. business,” the company said.
Taco Bell’s goal is to grow to 9,000 restaurants that generate $15 billion in sales a year by 2022.
The fast-food chain currently operates 6,738 restaurants, as of the end of the third quarter, and was on pace to generate close to $10 billion in system sales in 2017. Yet relatively few of the company’s restaurants are in international markets, unlike sister chains KFC and Pizza Hut that are also operated by Yum Brands.
“We are proud of the momentum the Taco Bell brand has seen globally, and the continued growth here at home,” Niccol said.
Masino comes to Taco Bell from Mattel, where she led the Fisher-Price division. She spent 12 years at Starbucks, however, and helped build Sprinkles Cupcakes as the company’s CEO.
In addition to Masino, Taco Bell said that Chief Food Innovation Officer Liz Matthews’ role will be elevated to oversee international capabilities, including research and development, quality assurance and engineering.
Mike Grams, meanwhile, is expanding his title to chief operations and development officer and will now oversee growth in Canada and global operations.
Marisa Thalberg, the company’s chief brand officer, will expand her role globally. She will now be responsible for e-commerce, internal communications, events and marketing.
Taco Bell last month revealed plans to focus on new technology initiatives in 2018. Elizabeth Baicy, vice president, digital and future works, and Jon Kosoff, vice president, e-commerce and performance marketing, will lead that effort.
Baicy joins Taco Bell from Amazon, where she was responsible for growing revenue across the company’s digital comic business. She worked for 15 years for technology-based companies.
Kosoff joins Taco Bell from the retailer Hot Topic, where he was senior vice president of e-commerce and CRM.
“We are thrilled to have Elizabeth and Jon join our team and apply their extensive tech knowledge to execute our ideas to meet consumers where they are with unparalleled access to the brand,” Niccol said.