June 04, 2008 // Franchising.com // LOUISVILLE, Ky.- Yum! Brands, Inc. (NYSE: YUM) today announced the appointment of Roger Eaton, 47, as President of KFC USA. He replaces Gregg Dedrick, 49, who has made a personal decision to leave by year's end after 20 years with the Company so that he may pursue several outside business ventures and academic coursework. Rather than waiting until the end of the year, the Company appointed Eaton to replace Dedrick now so that there is an orderly transition. Eaton will report directly to David C. Novak, Yum! Brands Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, and Dedrick will remain through a transition period until early 2009.
In his new role, Eaton will be responsible for KFC's $5.3 billion domestic business, which is predominantly franchised across 5,300 restaurants. For the last five months, Eaton has served as Yum! Brands Chief Operating and Development Officer, responsible for sharing global Operations Best Practices.
"I want to thank Gregg Dedrick for his outstanding service to YUM over the last 20 years, and for the significant contributions he has made to our business. He is a great friend, and he will be well-missed by all. At the same time, Roger Eaton is the perfect choice as KFC's new President. He is one of our very best leaders, with enormous talent, strategic thinking, energy, commitment and a stellar track record of consistent results in one of most developed markets in the world," said David Novak, Chairman and CEO.
Eaton is an international restaurant industry veteran and has been with the Company for twelve years. Prior to becoming Yum's COO, he served for seven years as Senior Vice President/Managing Director of Yum! Restaurants International South Pacific and Africa region (SOPAC). Earlier in his career, Eaton was Regional Operations Director of KFC SOPAC, General Manager of KFC New Zealand and Finance Director of KFC SOPAC. In each of those roles, Eaton achieved outstanding results. Under his leadership, the KFC business in Australia delivered 27 consecutive quarters of profitable same store sales growth through consistent product innovation and dramatic operations improvements. He also is a champion of people development and the YUM culture, having coached many successful YUM leaders today who have been relocated from Australia to assume senior leadership positions within the Company.
Emil Brolick, 60, President of U.S. Brand Building, will now become Chief Operating Officer, an executive staff role, overseeing YUM's Restaurant Excellence, Development, Express business and Quality Assurance. The leaders of each of these functions, along with Ben Butler, president of Long John Silver's and A&W All-American Food, will report to Brolick. He will continue to oversee the Company's global Marketing Excellence and Marketing College. Brolick serves on the Yum! corporate executive staff, all of whom report to David Novak, as do the presidents of Yum! Restaurants International, Yum! China, KFC, Taco Bell and Pizza Hut.
"I am very gratified that we have an outstanding depth of talent and experience at YUM to seamlessly transition management responsibilities and grow next-generation leaders like Roger Eaton," Novak added.
Yum! Brands, Inc., based in Louisville, Kentucky, is the world's largest restaurant company in terms of system restaurants, with more than 35,000 restaurants in over 100 countries and territories. The company is ranked #253 on the Fortune 500 List, with revenues in excess of $10 billion in 2007. Four of the company's restaurant brands – KFC, Pizza Hut, Taco Bell and Long John Silver's – are the global leaders of the chicken, pizza, Mexican-style food and quick-service seafood categories, respectively. Outside the United States, the Yum! Brands system opened about four new restaurants each day of the year, making it the largest retail developer in the world. The company has consistently been recognized for its reward and recognition culture, diversity leadership, community giving, and consistent shareholder returns. Since its spin-off as a publicly traded company in 1997, its stock has quintupled. Last year, the company launched the world's largest private sector hunger relief effort, in partnership with the United Nations World Food Programme and other hunger relief agencies. This effort helped save over 1.6 million people from starvation in remote corners of the world, where hunger is most prevalent.