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KFC has a new COO

Thuthuka Nxumalo named COO for KFC U.S.

In addition to adding a new chief operations officer, KFC U.S. has also named a chief new concept officer.

KFC U.S. has named Thuthuka Nxumalo as its new chief operations officer, effective Feb. 5. He will report to Tarun Lal, president of KFC U.S., and will oversee the chain’s operations strategy.

“Thuthuka is a seasoned operator with a proven track record of driving operational best practices,” Lal said in a statement. “With his ability to identify opportunities for rapid improvements and rally teams to provide exceptional service, I am confident Thuthuka is the right leader to drive a winning guest experience for KFC U.S.”

Nxumalo joins KFC U.S. from KFC Africa, where he spent the past three years as chief operations officer. According to the company, key operations metrics in the market improved under his leadership.

Prior to joining KFC, Nxumalo was with Anheuser-Busch InBev for nearly four years as brewery operations director for South Africa. Before that, he spent more than 15 years with SABMiller and South African Breweries in various roles. Nxumalo has a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from Cape Town University and a master’s degree in industrial engineering from the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg.

Chief new concept officer also added to the KFC team

Additionally, the company named Christophe Poirier as its chief new concept officer, effective Feb. 1 and also reporting to Lal. According to the company, Poirier will work to continue to modernize the KFC concept in collaboration with the current leadership team.

He has been with Yum! Brands since 2005 and spent the last eight years with Pizza Hut, most recently as global chief brand officer. He also previously served as vice president of concept innovation for Yum and chief brand officer for KFC’s global markets, according to his LinkedIn account.  

KFC U.S.’s “modernization” efforts have largely been focused on its menu, with more portable and boneless launches that appeal to younger demographics. Those launches have included an updated chicken sandwich, wraps, and nuggets. During a recent interview, CMO Nick Chavez said the sales mix of KFC’s boneless products has increased significantly throughout the past year and the products have also helped the chain gain share among younger demographics.

Contact Alicia Kelso at [email protected]


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