Yum! Brands Inc. announced Tuesday that Rick Carucci has been promoted from chief financial officer to president, reporting directly to chairman and chief executive David Novak.
The Louisville, Ky.-based company also announced that Patrick Grismer has been promoted from chief planning and control officer to replace Carucci as CFO.
Carucci had been Yum’s CFO since 2005, and before that he oversaw finances and development for Yum Restaurants International, or YRI. He is credited with steering Yum’s strategies for information technology and growth in emerging markets, the company said.
As president, Carucci will lead strategy for KFC, Pizza Hut and Taco Bell for YRI in the United States. The presidents of those divisions, as well as Grismer and the corporate finance team, will report directly to him.
Sam Su and Niren Chaudhary, the chief executives of Yum Restaurants China and Yum Restaurants India, the company’s two fastest-growing divisions, will continue to report directly to Novak.
Yum’s chief executive called Carucci “an extraordinarily talented executive.”
“He is a strategic thought leader, has great commercial savvy and, at the same time, has clearly established himself as a champion of our powerful recognition culture,” Novak said. “Sam Su and I have committed to the Yum board of directors that we will continue to be actively involved in the leadership of our company in the coming years. With Rick Carucci’s promotion, we have created a management triumvirate to best leverage scale and capitalize on our aggressive-growth opportunities in emerging markets.”
Novak added that Grismer’s 10 years with Yum in several senior finance positions, including CFO of Pizza Hut in the United Kingdom and later CFO of YRI, have prepared him to succeed Carucci as the company’s CFO.
“We expect a seamless transition,” Novak said.
So does the investment community, according to a research note from Andy Barish, restaurant analyst for Jefferies & Company Inc.
“In what we see as an evolutionary transition for management … we do not expect the promotion to alter Yum’s strategic vision,” Barish wrote, “and we see the news as further evidence of the company’s commitment to expanding its overseas presence while stabilizing the domestic business.”
Yum operates or franchises more than 37,000 restaurants in 125 countries.