Yum Brands Inc. named David Gibbs, currently the company’s president and chief operating officer, chief executive officer Monday. Gibbs takes over the top post for Greg Creed, who will retire at the end of the year.
Yum, the parent company of Pizza Hut, KFC and Taco Bell, is in the midst of a massive pivot to delivery, with plans to close hundreds of dine-in Pizza Hut units over the next two years.
“The industry is probably changing now more than it has ever,” Gibbs said in an interview with the Wall Street Journal. “We’re well positioned to leverage that change.”
Gibbs has been with Yum for more than three decades, holding posts in global strategy, finance, general management, operations and real estate. He was promoted earlier this year to an expanded role as president and chief operating officer, after serving as CFO.
Known as a master of marketing and organizational motivation, Creed has worked with Yum for a quarter century and has been CEO since 2015. During Creed’s tenure, Yum transformed from being a restaurant operator to a massive franchisor, spinning off its China operation into a separate entity. The company generated systemwide sales of $48 billion last year.
“I’m proud of how we’re emerging from our multiyear transformation as a more focused, franchised and efficient growth company,” Creed said in a statement. “The best of Yum is still to come and I’m delighted we have an exceptional leader like David who will drive the next wave of growth for our company.”
Creed will remain CEO through the end of the year and will serve as a part-time adviser to the company in 2020, as well as remaining on the board of directors.
“David is an outstanding commercial leader with a passion for Yum Brands’ global business, brands and people,” Creed said in a statement. “He has been an invaluable strategic partner to me during our transformation and instrumental in shaping our global strategy, accelerating the pace of global new unit development, executing our transformation goals and laying a strong foundation for future growth.”