Louisville, KY (RestaurantNews.com) Yum! Brands, Inc. (NYSE: YUM) today announced the promotion of David Gibbs, 53, to President and Chief Financial Officer, reporting to Chief Executive Officer, Greg Creed, effective May 2, 2016. Gibbs, a 27-year veteran of the Company, previously served as Chief Executive Officer of the global Pizza Hut Division. In his new role, Gibbs will assume global responsibility for finance, operations, supply chain and information technology. Today’s announcement concludes the internal and external search for YUM’s top financial post and ensures a smooth transition of executive leadership in advance of the Company’s separation into two publicly traded companies – Yum! Brands and Yum! China – by the end of this year.
“I’m pleased to announce the promotion of David Gibbs to become our President and Chief Financial Officer. David is an extraordinarily talented executive with a strong track record of leadership in finance, global strategy and brand building,” said Creed. “The YUM Board and I are confident that David’s experience and deep knowledge of our global business will prove instrumental as we work toward strengthening our iconic brands while completing the separation of our China business – creating two powerful, independent, focused growth companies. I would also like to thank Dave Russell for his strong leadership as interim CFO and ongoing support during this transformational year. Dave will resume his role as Vice President, Finance and Corporate Controller for Yum! Brands,” Creed added.
“I’m looking forward to working with Greg and the YUM executive team to grow our brands and complete the China separation, which we expect to generate strong returns for our shareholders over the long term,” said Gibbs. “We remain committed to our stated goal of 96% of our restaurants being owned and operated by franchisees by the end of 2017, with operating margins, capital expenditures and an efficient G&A structure consistent with a reduced ownership business model. With our flagship securitization and overall financing launching in the coming weeks and setting up the Company with an optimized capital structure, we remain on track to return an incremental $4.4 billion of capital to shareholders prior to the separation. This is a pivotal and exciting time as we transform Yum! Brands into two powerful, independent companies with unique investment profiles, capital structures, and compelling growth potential,” added Gibbs.
Gibbs has held a variety of roles at YUM and its predecessor companies since he joined in 1989, including development, real estate, finance, and engineering positions. He served as CFO of Pizza Hut U.S. from 2005 to 2010 before transitioning to a global role as President and CFO of Yum! Restaurants International. In that capacity, he led the finance, information technology, supply chain and development functions for the Yum! Restaurants International division, had general management responsibility for several international markets and was responsible for growing KFC, Pizza Hut and Taco Bell outside the U.S. and China. Gibbs also served as President of Pizza Hut U.S., overseeing the brand’s more than 7,000 restaurants across the United States prior to assuming the role of division CEO. As CEO of the global Pizza Hut Division, Gibbs has been responsible for driving growth for more than 14,000 restaurants in over 90 countries, excluding the Yum! China Division.
The global Pizza Hut Division will continue to be led by Milind Pant, President of Pizza Hut International, and by Artie Starrs, who is being promoted from General Manager to President of Pizza Hut U.S. effective May 2. “David’s transition creates a great opportunity for Milind Pant and Artie Starrs to expand their responsibilities and lead Pizza Hut’s culture, strategy, growth and performance internationally and in the U.S.,” said Creed.
Yum! Brands, Inc., based in Louisville, Kentucky, has nearly 43,000 restaurants in more than 130 countries and territories. Yum! is ranked #228 on the Fortune 500 List with revenues of over $13 billion in 2015 and is one of the Aon Hewitt Top Companies for Leaders in North America. The Company’s restaurant brands – KFC, Pizza Hut and Taco Bell – are the global leaders of the chicken, pizza and Mexican-style food categories. Worldwide, the Yum! Brands system opens over six new restaurants per day on average, making it a leader in global retail development.
This announcement may contain “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933 and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. We intend all forward-looking statements to be covered by the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Forward-looking statements generally can be identified by the fact that they do not relate strictly to historical or current facts and by the use of forward-looking words such as “expect,” “expectation,” “believe,” “anticipate,” “may,” “could,” “intend,” “belief,” “plan,” “estimate,” “target,” “predict,”“likely,” “will,” “should,” “forecast,” “outlook” or similar terminology. These statements are based on current estimates and assumptions made by us in light of our experience and perception of historical trends, current conditions and expected future developments, as well as other factors that we believe are appropriate and reasonable under the circumstances, but there can be no assurance that such estimates and assumptions will prove to be correct. Forward-looking statements reflect our current expectations, estimates or projections concerning future results or events, including, without limitation, statements regarding the intended capital return to shareholders as well as the related borrowing required to fund such capital return, the planned separation of the Yum! Brands and Yum! China businesses, the timing of any such separation, the future earnings and performance as well as capital structure of Yum! Brands, Inc. or any of its businesses, including the Yum! Brands and Yum! China businesses on a standalone basis if the separation is completed. Forward-looking statements are not guarantees of performance and are inherently subject to known and unknown risks, uncertainties and assumptions that are difficult to predict and could cause our actual results to differ materially from those indicated by those statements. We cannot assure you that any of our expectations, estimates or projections will be achieved. The forward-looking statements included in this announcement are only made as of the date of this announcement and we disclaim any obligation to publicly update any forward-looking statement to reflect subsequent events or circumstances. Numerous factors could cause our actual results and events to differ materially from those expressed or implied by forward -looking statements, including, without limitation: whether we are able to return capital to shareholders at the times and in the amounts currently anticipated, if at all, as well as the corresponding costs of borrowing to fund such capital return as well as other costs; whether the separation of the Yum! Brands and Yum! China businesses is completed, as expected or at all, and the timing of any such separation; whether the operational and strategic benefits of the separation can be achieved; whether the costs and expenses of the separation can be controlled within expectations, including potential tax costs; as well as other risks. In addition, other risks and uncertainties not presently known to us or that we currently believe to be immaterial could affect the accuracy of any such forward-looking statements. All forward-looking statements should be evaluated with the understanding of their inherent uncertainty. You should consult our filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission (including the information set forth under the captions “Risk Factors” and “Forward-Looking Statements” in our Annual Report or Form 10-K) for additional detail about factors that could affect our financial and other results. Reconciliation of non-GAAP financial measures to the most directly comparable GAAP measures are included on our website at www.yum.com/investors.