- Yum Brands Board named Target CEO Brian Cornell, who joined the board in 2015, its non-executive chairman, the company announced Monday. A veteran of PepsiCo's food division, Sam's Club, Michaels and Safeway, Cornell also acts as chairman for the Retail Industry Leaders Association.
- "As customer preferences and purchase behaviors evolve, Target and Yum! Brands are already elevating and transforming our respective customer experiences with digital, retail and global consumer insights," said Cornell in the release.
- Retiring non-executive chairman Robert D. Walter, the founder and former CEO of Cardinal Health, held the post since 2016. He joined the board in 2006 and will remain a member. Walter led the board through the shift to create a Yum China.
Cornell's move into this important advisory position shows that Yum Brands likely looks to continue its international expansion during a time when quick-service restaurants have watched traffic drop across the board in the U.S. and internationally.
Before joining Target in 2014, Cornell led some of the biggest names in food manufacturing as head of PepsiCo's global food business, which includes Frito-Lay's North American brands and the Latin American snack arm that houses Doritos, Ruffles and Cheetos. His wealth of retail and food experience gives Yum wisdom from powerful brand strategies abroad.
A greater focus outside the U.S. appears to align with the strategy of Cornell's board predecessor. Under Walter's watch, the brand fully realized the creation of Yum China in November 2016. Yum declined an investment firm's bid in August to buyout the newly formed company, and YUMC, the Chinese company's stock, immediately surged 12%.
Yum also could be looking for more ways to stay on top of the global supply chain as it expands worldwide. While KFC and Pizza Hut have been a part of the Chinese restaurant landscape since 1987 and 1990, respectively, Taco Bell has only three stores, none of which operate under Yum China. The Mexican chain has instead focused on domestic growth, with only 400 restaurants outside the U.S. That being said, Yum has committed to taking the brand global by entering five new countries in 2017.