Yum! Brands names divisional CEOs for Taco Bell, Pizza Hut

Quick-service conglomerate Yum! Brands is looking both inside and outside the company for new chief executives of two global divisions.

The company has named Mark King, 60, former president of Adidas Group North America, as Taco Bell division CEO, and Artie Starrs, 42, president of Pizza Hut US, is being promoted to Pizza Hut division CEO. Each will assume global responsibility for driving their respective brand’s growth strategies, franchise operations and performance. Each of the company’s three global brand divisions (including KFC) will now be led by a CEO.

King will report to David Gibbs, president, COO and CFO, Yum! Brands. In addition, Starrs, as well as current KFC division CEO Tony Lowings, will continue to report to Gibbs. Both appointments are effective Aug. 5, 2019.

“We believe this global brand division leadership structure at Taco Bell and Pizza Hut will enable the U.S. and international teams to further implement innovative best practices worldwide, strengthen digital and technology capabilities and accelerate growth for franchisees and shareholders,” said Greg Creed, CEO, Yum! Brands. “We’re investing in world-class executives like Mark and fortunate to promote incredible talent throughout our company like Artie. Mark is an accomplished retail innovator, and Artie is an excellent growth strategist – both are strong culture leaders who will continue to elevate Taco Bell and Pizza Hut into relevant, easy and distinctive global brands.”

Julie Felss Masino, Taco Bell North America president, and Liz Williams, Taco Bell international president, will report to King. Starrs will retain direct leadership of Pizza Hut in the U.S. as part of his global responsibilities. Vipul Chawla, president of Pizza Hut International, will report to Starrs.