Jason Marker, general manager of KFC in the United States
Yum! Brands Inc. has promoted two executives in its Pizza Hut and KFC brands in the United States, signaling some of the first moves as the two brands, along with sister brand Taco Bell, reorganize themselves into global operating divisions.
David Gibbs has been named president of Pizza Hut in the United States, and Jason Marker has been named general manager of KFC in the United States.
Gibbs, who most recently was president and chief financial officer for Yum Restaurants International, or YRI, assumes oversight of the domestic Pizza Hut system and will report to the brand’s chief executive, Scott Bergren. Gibbs began his career with Yum in 1989.
“David Gibbs is a champion for growth,” Bergren said in a statement. “He is an outstanding business leader, with strong strategic and brand-building skills and a demonstrated ability to work effectively with franchisees, share best practices and build people capability.”
Gibbs occupies the role Bergren vacated when Pizza Hut, KFC and Taco Bell were reorganized into three separate divisions.
Each brand will combine its U.S. system with the more than 100 international markets formerly covered under the YRI banner in order to align the brands and manage them across the globe. Yum’s separate reporting divisions in China and India remain standalone businesses encompassing the three major quick-service chains.
Marker most recently was chief marketing officer for KFC’s domestic system. He replaces John Cywinski, who resigned as president of KFC U.S. to pursue other opportunities. As the new general manager for KFC U.S., he will report to Micky Pant, who became chief executive of KFC after serving as chief executive of YRI.
“Marker is the ideal candidate to lead the KFC business in the U.S.,” Pant said in a statement. “He has excellent commercial skills, with a deep understanding of consumer insights and concept development. He is also detail-oriented and works effectively with franchisees and has demonstrated leadership skills cross-functionally.”
Marker joined Yum more than 10 years ago in Australia, leading marketing for the South Pacific region. Before moving to KFC in the United States, he was vice president of global branding and marketing at YRI.
“I want to thank John Cywinski for his leadership and wish him every continued success with his new ventures,” Yum chief executive David Novak said in a statement. “As we move forward, I couldn’t be more confident that the best is yet to come — for our customers, our associates and our franchisees — as we leverage our brand portfolio to grow our business around the world.”
Louisville, Ky.-based Yum operates or franchises more than 40,000 restaurants in more than 130 countries.