Yum Brands Creed and Gibbs

Greg Creed, CEO of Yum! Brands, and David Gibbs, president and chief operating officer. (Company photo)

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) – Louisville-based fast food giant Yum! Brands will have a new CEO in 2020.

Yum’s president and chief operating officer David Gibbs, 55, will take over the top spot on Jan. 1, succeeding Greg Creed, 62, who is retiring after 25 years with the company.

The company said on Monday that its board had approved the succession plan.

Creed has led Yum, the parent company of Taco Bell, Pizza Hut and Kentucky Fried Chicken, since 2015.

He spun off the company’s China division into an independent public company in 2016 and has been selling off Yum’s corporate restaurants as part of a long-term plan to make the company almost entirely franchised.

“I’m proud of how we’re emerging from our multi-year transformation as a more focused, franchised and efficient growth company,” Creed said in a news release. “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.”

Gibbs currently oversees the global KFC, Pizza Hut and Taco Bell divisions.

Target Corp. CEO Brian Cornell, who is Yum’s executive chairman, said in the release that Yum’s board is “confident that David Gibbs is the ideal leader to drive the next chapter of global growth for the company.

“He has played a central role in all that Yum! Brands has accomplished over the past several years and understands the need to put customers, employees, franchisees and shareholders at the center of everything,” Cornell said.

Yum is technically headquartered in Louisville, the home of its KFC division, but Creed, Gibbs and other top executives are based in the Dallas area.

Creed earned $14 million in total compensation in 2018, and Gibbs earned $6.9 million.

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