This promotion comes after Skeans’ 20-year career with the group.
Yum! Brands, Inc., the owner of household names like KFC, Pizza Hut, and Taco Bell, has announced the promotion of Tracy Skeans to chief operating officer.
Skeans, who has been with Yum! for 20 years, has served in numerous roles at the organization including chief transformation and people officer since 2016. Her promotion formalizes work that Skeans is already undertaking, such as driving cross-brand promotion on operational execution, people capability, and customer experience imperatives that will fuel same-store sales and net-new unit growth.
“Tracy and I share a people-first vision and passion for elevating the customer and employee experience, which makes her the perfect choice for chief operating officer in our next phase of growth,” said David Gibbs, CEO of Yum! Brands, Inc. “Tracy has been an invaluable strategic partner to me and our global leadership team as we have navigated through some of the most pivotal milestones in our history, including our transformation to a pure play franchisor in 2019 and more recently the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Her breadth of experience and strong track record of results through people and executional excellence give the Yum! Brands board of directors and me great confidence that she will help us deliver strong performance across our brands and global franchise system in this fast-changing environment.”
Since joining Yum! in 2000, Skeans has been driving results at the intersection of talent, culture, finance, and strategy. Under her leadership as chief transformation and people officer, in 2020, Yum! integrated The Habit Burger Grill and Heartstyles, a team member leadership development program designed to transform the employee and customer experience, and championed the company’s Unlocking Opportunity Initiative.
Prior to 2016, Skeans served as president of Pizza Hut International, at which time she oversaw more than 5,900 restaurants across more than 85 countries. In 2013, as chief people officer, Pizza Hut, she was one of the key architects of the strategy to separate Yum! Restaurants International into the global brand divisions of KFC and Pizza Hut.
“Yum!’s future growth and social impact rely on our ability to collaborate and execute strategies and ideas at scale across our iconic brands and global franchisee base,” said Skeans. “I’m excited to take on this expanded role partnering with David and our global leadership team, as we continue to invest in our people and customer experience, alongside critical areas that will drive future growth and improve franchise unit economics – including technology, innovation and restaurant development.”