Executive chairman of Yum! Brands to retire

by Jeff Gelski
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David Novak, Yum! Brands
David C. Novak, executive chairman of Yum! Brands, Inc., plans to retire in May.

LOUISVILLE, KY. – David C. Novak, executive chairman of Yum! Brands, Inc., plans to retire in May following the company’s annual shareholder meeting. He will step down from the board of directors at the same time. At the shareholder meeting the board plans to appoint a non-executive chairman to succeed Mr. Novak.

Mr. Novak became chief executive officer of Yum! Brands in 1999. He has served as chairman since 2000. Mr. Novak transitioned to executive chairman on Jan. 1, 2015, when Greg Creed succeeded him as c.e.o.

“David Novak is a visionary leader who built Yum! Brands into a global powerhouse and one of the world’s largest restaurant companies,” Mr. Creed said. “He is renowned for creating a recognition culture that rewards for performance and for coaching and mentoring thousands of executives on leadership skills. During his tenure, the company expanded its vast footprint in new emerging markets, became the category leader in China, delivered a high return on invested capital and saw its market capitalization grow from $4.6 billion to approximately $31 billion. Shareholders have been well-rewarded over this time thanks to David’s outstanding leadership.”

Mr. Novak began his career at PepsiCo, Inc. in 1998 as chief marketing officer for the Pizza Hut division. He later served as executive vice-president of marketing and sales for Pepsi-Cola, as chief operating officer of Pepsi-Cola, as c.e.o. of KFC U.S. and as c.e.o. of both KFC and Pizza Hut US. When PepsiCo spun off KFC, Pizza Hut and Taco Bell in 1997, Mr. Novak became vice-chairman and president of the new company, Tricon Global, which later became Yum! Brands.

Mr. Novak has been recognized as “2012 CEO of the Year” by Chief Executive magazine, one of the world’s “30 Best CEOs” by Barron’s and one of the “Top People in Business” by Fortune.

“I feel deeply privileged to have served over the years as Yum! Brands chairman and c.e.o.,” said Mr. Novak. “As we target the separation of our China business by the end of 2016 and transition to two powerful, independent companies, it is a perfect time for me to complete my retirement.”
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