Louisville, Ky.-based Yum Brands – parent to KFC, Taco Bell, The Habit Burger Grill and Pizza Hut – on Tuesday announced the promotion of chief transformation and people officer Tracy Skeans, to chief operating officer, effective Jan. 29.
Skeans will retain her current responsibilities as chief people officer and continue to report to CEO David Gibbs.
Skeans joined Yum in 2000 and was named chief transformation and people officer in 2016. In that role, she has worked on the Yum China spinoff and Yum Brands’ move to a heavily franchised and more profitable business model.
“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,” Gibbs said in a statement. “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.”
Skeans was also involved in the company’s Unlocking Opportunities Initiatives, a $100 million commitment to create more opportunities for employees through equity and inclusion, education and entrepreneurship over the next five years.
In January, Skeans, left, spoke with NRN about the advancements in a more diverse management environment.
“I’m particularly proud of Yum’s work to advance women into senior leadership roles, which has made more progress over the past two years than in the prior 10 and resulted in 44% of women currently in global management positions, up from 35% in 2016,” she said.
Prior to 2016, Skeans served as the president of Pizza Hut. In 2013, she helped 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,” Skeans said. “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.”
Skeans was named to the 2021 NRN Power List in January.
Yum Brands currently has over 50,000 restaurants in its worldwide portfolio.
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