Tracy Skeans named chief operating officer of Taco Bell owner Yum Brands

The executive had been chief transformation and people officer and had already been acting as operations chief.
Tracy Skeans
Photo courtesy of Yum Brands

Yum Brands on Tuesday named Tracy Skeans chief operating officer, formalizing a role the company’s chief transformation and people officer had already taken at the owner of KFC, Taco Bell, Pizza Hut and Habit Burger.

Skeans, who took the role late last week, will retain her current responsibilities as chief people officer and will report to Yum CEO David Gibbs.

Skeans “has been an invaluable strategic partner for me and our global leadership team as we have navigated through some of the most pivotal milestones in our history, including our transformation to a pure-play franchisor in 2019 and more recently the COVID-19 pandemic,” Gibbs said in a statement.

Skeans has been with the Louisville, Ky.-based Yum since 2000 and has been its chief transformation and people officer since 2016. Last year she integrated Habit as well as Heartstyles, a leadership development program. She also played a central role in the spinoff of Yum China in 2019.

“Yum’s future growth and social impact rely on our ability to collaborate and execute strategies and ideas at scale across our iconic and global franchisee base,” Skeans said in a statement.

Yum’s four brands operate more than 50,000 restaurants in more than 150 countries.

Members help make our journalism possible. Become a Restaurant Business member today and unlock exclusive benefits, including unlimited access to all of our content. Sign up here.


Exclusive Content


Beverage chains are taking off as consumers shift their drink preferences

The Bottom Line: Some of the fastest-growing chains in the U.S. push drinks, even as sales at traditional concepts lag in growing delivery and takeout business. How can traditional restaurants get in on the action?


Brands need to think creatively as the industry heads into a value war

The Bottom Line: Giving customers meal options they can afford will be key to generating traffic this year. But make sure those offers can generate a profit.


The Red Lobster bankruptcy is a seminal moment for the restaurant business

The Bottom Line: The seafood chain’s bankruptcy declaration was not surprising after months of closures and Endless Shrimp recriminations. But that doesn’t make it any less notable.


More from our partners