Yum! Brands Hires Kimberly-Clark’s Aaron Powell as Pizza Hut CEO


Yum! Brands announced Thursday that Kimberly-Clark veteran Aaron Powell will take over as CEO of Pizza Hut effective September 20.

Powell, the former chairman of Kimberly-Clark’s Asia-Pacific Consumer Business, succeeds Artie Starr, who joined Topgolf as CEO in April. The new Pizza Hut leader will report to Yum! CEO David Gibbs and will assume global responsibility for driving growth strategies, franchise operations and performance.

“We couldn’t be happier to welcome Aaron to Yum! Brands and the Pizza Hut family and believe that this leadership structure of the Global Brands Division will enable Pizza Hut’s US and international teams to continue to implement best practices globally and continue their growth trajectory for franchisees. and shareholders, ”Gibbs said in a statement. “Aaron brings over 25 years of deep experience in the B2B and consumer packaged goods industries and is known for driving innovation and delivering strong performance to iconic home brands operating in complex environments around the world. “

He joins Pizza Hut as the chain continues its long-term strategy of moving from on-site catering to take-out and delivery. The brand’s same-store sales in the United States increased 9% over two years in the second quarter, and off-site compositions increased 18% over a two-year period.

Pizza Hut also returned to unit growth. In 2020, the brand closed a network of 1,063 stores, but in the first half of 2021, the company opened a network of 170 locations.

Powell has over 14 years of experience at Kimberly-Clark in a variety of executive roles in business-to-business and consumer operations including corporate strategy, mergers and acquisitions, sales, marketing, e-commerce. and operations. As President of Kimberly-Clark’s Consumer Business in Asia-Pacific, he was responsible for the company’s largest international region, spanning over 30 countries including Australia, China, India and Korea. from South. Prior to this role, he led Kimberly-Clark’s business operations globally, led consumer operations in Europe, Middle East and Africa, and served as general manager of consumer operations in Central and Eastern Europe. .

He also spent four years at Bain & Company, one of the world’s largest strategic management consulting firms, and for eight years held sales leadership and brand management roles at Procter & Gamble. Powell holds an MBA from the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania and a BA from the University of Washington. He currently sits on the Sherwin-Williams Board of Directors.

Kevin Hochman, President and Concept Director of KFC US and Interim President of Pizza Hut US, and Vipul Chawla, President of Pizza Hut International, will report to Powell.

“The chance to join an iconic and powerful global brand like Pizza Hut, combined with the support of a world class and culturally rich company like Yum! Brands, created an opportunity that I knew I had to be a part of and just couldn’t pass up, ”Powell said in a statement. “I am delighted to be working with Kevin and Vipul and look forward to starting working alongside and building relationships with such a talented team of employees and franchisees around the world. “

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