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Target’s Cornell tasty addition to YUM board


A little over a year into his tenure as Target’s chairman and CEO, Brian Cornell has added new responsibilities as a member of the board of directors at KFC, Pizza Hut and Taco Bell parent company Yum! Brands.

Cornell’s appointment to the Yum board comes 13 months after he was named to the top job at Target and just three months after Target sold its pharmacy business to CVS Health for $1.9 billion. The latter is noteworthy because two executives with strong ties to CVS Health serve on Yum’s Nominating and Governance Committee.

“Brian is a seasoned retail and consumer products veteran. He brings a wealth of knowledge and best practices to Yum leading one of the largest and most innovative retail companies in the world,” said David Novak, executive chairman of Yum! Brands.

Yum’s CEO Greg Creed said the global operator of 41,000 restaurants was thrilled to have Cornell join its board.

“As we continue to build three iconic global brands that people trust and champion through insight-driven marketing, breakthrough product innovation and digital leadership, Brian’s expertise will complement our efforts to strengthen and grow our brands around the world and deliver strong performance for our shareholders over the long term,” Creed said.

With much work left to be done restoring Target’s growth trajectory, investors might prefer the retailer received his undivided attention as the Yum board met six times in 2014. However, it is easy to see how Cornell got on Yum’s radar after engineering an innovative deal whereby CVS Health acquired and will rebrand and operate Target’s nearly 1,700 pharmacies. Serving on Yum’s Nominating and Governance Committee are Dave Dorman, non-executive chairman of the CVS Health board and Tom Ryan, CVS Health’s former CEO. Dorman has served on the CVS Health board since 2011. Ryan was the long-time chairman and CEO of the pharmacy retailer, but he left the company about the time Dorman joined.

Even without the CVS Health connection, Yum likely would have noticed Cornell due to his diverse business career. Prior to Target, in August 2014, Cornell served as CEO of PepsiCo Americas Foods where he oversaw the company’s global food business, the largest of PepsiCo’s four divisions. He was responsible for a portfolio that included Frito-Lay North America, Quaker Foods and all of PepsiCo’s Latin America food and snack businesses. Before joining PepsiCo in 2012, Cornell served as president and CEO of the Sam’s Club division of Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. Cornell also held the position of CEO at Michaels Stores, Inc., and prior to that, executive VP and chief marketing officer for Safeway.

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