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Yum Brands names Clay Johnson chief digital and technology officer

Gavin Felder was promoted to chief strategy officer as the owner of KFC, Taco Bell and Pizza Hut looks to bolster its digital strategy.
Photograph courtesy of Taco Bell

Yum Brands on Tuesday named former Walmart executive Clay Johnson its new chief digital and technology officer.

The company also promoted Gavin Felder to chief strategy officer.

The owner of KFC, Taco Bell and Pizza Hut said the newly created positions will work with the chains to “elevate the customer experience and accelerate global growth.”

Clay Johnson

Clay Johnson

Johnson had been enterprise chief information officer for retail giant Walmart. He will oversee the company’s global technology strategy, working with its three brands to improve mobile, online, delivery and restaurant operations, the company said.

Yum said he would “lead a coordinated, cross-brand effort to accelerate the company’s digital commerce strategy, use of data and advanced analytics and emerging technologies.”

Johnson’s appointment is effective Oct. 15.

Felder, meanwhile, was promoted from KFC, where he had been the division’s chief financial officer for the past five years. He will be responsible for developing Yum’s long-term corporate strategies, working with the chains to find new sources of growth. He will also work with Johnson to integrate technology across store operations, including restaurant automation.

Felder will remain in his current position through the end of this year while Yum finds a new KFC CFO. His appointment as chief strategy officer is effective Dec. 1.

“We believe Clay Johnson and Gavin Felder are the ideal executives to accelerate Yum Brands’ growth through technology-centric strategies that advance the customer experience and ultimately deliver better economics and more value for our franchisees and shareholders,” Yum Brands President David Gibbs said in a statement.

The moves come as Gibbs prepares to take over for the retiring Greg Creed as CEO on Jan. 1. Both Johnson and Felder will report to Chris Turner, who himself was named CFO earlier this year.

Turner said that Johnson “has the deep knowledge and skills needed to oversee a cross-brand effort to fast-track our digital commerce capabilities, unlock value from data and analytics and integrate cost-effective technology solutions to enhance restaurant operations.”

He said that Felder’s “outstanding strategic capabilities and global experience make him the perfect leader to help set our long-term strategies and drive collaboration across our brands.”

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