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Yum names Clay Johnson, Gavin Felder to new posts

Company creates chief digital/technology and chief strategy positions

Yum Brands Inc. has named executives to two new tech-focused positions, hiring Clay Johnson as the chief digital and technology officer and promoting Gavin Felder to chief strategy officer, the company said Tuesday.

The Louisville, Ky.-based parent to the KFC, Pizza Hut and Taco Bell brands said the new positions will work “with the global brand divisions to elevate the customer experience and accelerate global growth.”

Johnson, 49, left, will oversee the company’s global technology strategy, partnering with the KFC, Pizza Hut and Taco Bell divisions for mobile, online, delivery and restaurant operations. Yum’s global technology risk management and information technology shared-services teams will also report to Johnson.

Most recently, Johnson served as chief information officer and head of global business services for Walmart. He assumes his new post on Oct. 15.

Felder, 40, right, will be responsible for developing Yum’s long-term corporate strategies and innovation initiatives. Felder has served as KFC division chief financial officer for the last five years, overseeing strategy, digital and technology, financial planning, supply chain and IT security for KFC’s 23,000 restaurants in 135 countries. The company said he will remain in that role while it searches for his successor. Felder’s appointment will be effective Dec. 1.

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“We believe Clay Johnson and Gavin Felder are the ideal executives to accelerate Yum Brands’ growth through technology-centric strategies that advance the customer experience and ultimately deliver better economics and more value for our franchisees and shareholders,” said David Gibbs, Yum’s president and chief operating officer who will succeed Greg Creed as CEO in January, in a statement

“Clay’s insights into developing connected digital commerce capabilities and integrated enterprise solutions will be invaluable as we strengthen our business model with technology at the forefront,” Gibbs said.

Gavin is a successful digital leader and proven growth strategist at KFC, our largest and most profitable global brand division,” he added. “I look forward to Gavin, Clay and their teams collaborating to ensure our technology efforts support and are aligned with the technological innovation happening in our restaurants.”

Johnson and Felder will report to Chris Turner, Yum’s chief financial officer.

“This is an exciting time at Yum because we have an incredible opportunity to leverage our massive scale and expand our digital and technology competencies in order to drive global same-store sales and net-new unit growth and improve franchise unit economics,” Turner said.

Yum Brands has more than 48,000 restaurants in more than 145 countries and territories.

Contact Ron Ruggless at Ronald.Ruggless@Informa.com

Follow him on Twitter: @RonRuggless

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