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Taco Bell, Pizza Hut name new CEOs

Former adidas Group North America President Mark King will take the reins as Taco Bell CEO, and Yum sister brand, Pizza Hut, has promoted its U.S. President Artie Starrs to CEO, according to Yum Brands. The newly appointed leaders will assume their roles on Aug. 5, according to a press release.

 Taco Bell CEO Mark King.

Both leaders are credited with being veteran growth drivers throughout their careers, which will be a focus at the two chains. The two will not only work to expand the brands, but also oversee franchise operations and brand performance. 

At adidas, King is credited with being an innovative leader who boosted the brand's relevance and enhanced its culture.

As Pizza Hut President, Starrs, is credited with doing the work to galvanize Pizza Hut U.S. franchisees around the brand's Transformation Agreement, improve its digital and e-commerce roadmap, enhance operations and customer experience and define a growth path forward for the global chain. 

"Mark King is the ideal executive to elevate Taco Bell to the next level of global growth," Yum Brands COO/CFO David Gibbs said in the release. "His unique talent rewriting the rules for brands to win in fiercely competitive markets will be central to Taco Bell's journey to become a $15 billion brand that transcends the quick-service restaurant and retail categories. ... We're also very proud that (Taco Bell North America President) Julie Felss Masino and (Taco Bell International President) Liz Williams have delivered fantastic results to ensure Taco Bell remains an innovative and growing Category of One brand in the U.S. and internationally."

King ended his career at adidas last year after serving as president for four years. He led the brand to become North America's fastest growth sports brand, increasing 2017 sales by 35% and doubling market share. 

 Pizza Hut CEO Artie Starrs.

At Pizza Hut U.S, Starrs worked with franchisees to boost the brand's average delivery time by three minutes and grow customer satisfaction scores, helping the chain gain the top pizza spot in the 2018 American Customer Satisfaction Index. Aside from other delivery-centered achievements, Starrs led the company's acquisition of U.S. online ordering engine, QuikOrder, while helping the brand into its place as 2018's official NFL pizza sponsor. 

"I'm confident Artie will help grow and continue to strengthen Pizza Hut's competitive position with our franchisees globally, working with a strong leader in (Pizza Hut International President) Vipul Chawla and the entire international team," Gibbs said

The two CEOs will report to Gibbs, along with current KFC Division Chief Executive Officer Tony Lowings. 

Photos: Provided

Topics: Catering, Customer Service / Experience, Delivery, Fast Casual Executive Summit, Food Trucks, Franchising & Growth, Insurance / Risk Management, Restaurant Franchising & Innovation Summit

Companies: Taco Bell, Yum! Brands, Pizza Hut

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