- KFC U.S. announced new executive changes Friday, according to a press release emailed to Restaurant Dive. The chicken chain is promoting Ben Dubost to chief development officer and Kate Ward to chief legal officer effective Jan. 1.
- Both executives have worked for KFC for years, and have experience supporting development and franchising.
- The Yum Brands subsidiary has seen considerable shakeups at the leadership level since Sabir Sami succeeded Tony Lowings as CEO in January.
Since Sami ascended to the CEO post, KFC has named a new president at KFC U.S., switched up its marketing agency of record, sold off all of its Russian units and seen three executives depart due to the impact of rising interest rates.
Dubost joined the chain in 2013 as a franchise business director before overseeing development in a number of international markets beginning in 2016, according to the press release. In 2021, Dubost became VP of development at KFC global.
“[Dubost] has been instrumental in driving development strategy in KFC markets globally,” Tarun Lal, president of KFC U.S., said in the statement. “I’m confident that his expertise will deliver strong results for KFC U.S.”
Dubost’s experience in the chain’s rapidly growing international sector, which accounts for 85% of the chain’s unit count according to the company’s latest 10-Q, may help boot American growth.The American market is no longer KFC’s largest sales driver, according to Yum’s Q3 earnings release. About 17% of the chain’s sales are driven by the U.S., compared to 27% of sales generated by the chain’s Chinese units.
Ward, who joined the company in 2016 as an employment law and litigation specialist, has worked on refranchising and development as well.
“In 2018, she was promoted to Director, Legal,” KFC said in a statement. “In 2019, she took on the role of of leading the legal support of all marketing, advertising, digital and technology, and contract work and initiatives for KFC U.S.”
Ward replaces Melanie Bootes and Dubost replaces Brian Cahoe, both of whom held their KFC U.S. C-suite positions since 2015.