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kevin hochman KFC

The Power List 2018: Kevin Hochman

The annual NRN Power List is the definitive list of people setting foodservice trends today and shaping them for tomorrow. See the full list >>

The Rejuvenator

KFC’s Kevin Hochman could be accurately described as a resurrectionist. Hochman, who is president and chief concept officer for KFC US, not only brought back the domestic fortunes of the Louisville, Ky.-based chain. He did it by bringing back the restaurant’s original pitchman.

Known for: Hochman’s main claim to fame is bringing back Colonel Sanders as the face of KFC. While the international business of KFC was thriving for parent Yum! Brands Inc., the domestic business was struggling compared with its sister brands Pizza Hut and Taco Bell.

Power move: The return of the Colonel gave KFC much-needed buzz and social media presence. It also resulted in the chain’s first-ever Super Bowl commercial (two Colonels played by actor Billy Zane and comedian Rob Riggle). Last March, the 43-year-old Hochman was promoted to president and chief concept officer of KFC US.

What’s next: The challenge for Hochman will be maintaining momentum after a year of outside-the-box thinking that even included sending a chicken sandwich into space. Expect more bold moves from the brand going forward.

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