Company Names Global Consumer Packaged Goods Veteran Aaron Powell as Pizza Hut Division CEO
Yum! Brands, Inc. (NYSE: YUM) today announced that Aaron Powell, 50, former President of Kimberly-Clark Corporation’s Asia-Pacific Consumer Business, will join the Company as global Pizza Hut Division Chief Executive Officer, reporting to Yum! Chief Executive Officer David Gibbs, effective September 20. In this role, Powell will assume global responsibility for driving Pizza Hut Division’s growth strategies, franchise operations and performance. Today’s announcement concludes Yum! Brands’ search for Pizza Hut Division’s top leadership post.
“We couldn’t be happier to welcome Aaron to the Yum! Brands and Pizza Hut family and believe this global brand division leadership structure will enable the Pizza Hut U.S. and international teams to further implement best practices worldwide and continue their growth trajectory for franchisees and shareholders,” said Gibbs. “Aaron brings more than 25 years of deep experience in the business-to-business and consumer packaged goods sectors and is known for driving break-through innovation and delivering strong performance for iconic household name brands operating in complex environments around the world.”
Gibbs continued, “We’re fortunate to have a global growth strategist of Aaron’s caliber join the accomplished Pizza Hut leadership team. We’re thankful for Kevin Hochman’s and Vipul Chawla’s excellent leadership that has strengthened Pizza Hut and look forward to Aaron, Kevin and Vipul partnering to lead the brand forward and deliver continued momentum in the U.S. and internationally.”
Kevin Hochman, President and Chief Concept Officer KFC U.S. and Interim President Pizza Hut U.S., and Vipul Chawla, President Pizza Hut International, will report to Powell. Under their leadership and in partnership with its best-in-class franchisees, Pizza Hut has delivered product innovation and sustained sales improvement and strong unit economics. In addition, Pizza Hut has continued investing in its off-premise channel in response to shifting consumer demand across the world.
Powell joins Pizza Hut from Kimberly-Clark, a global manufacturer and marketer of personal care, consumer tissue and other household products, after more than 14 years in a variety of global leadership roles across business-to-business and consumer operations with extensive experience in corporate strategy, M&A, sales, marketing, e-commerce and operations. Most recently, as President of Kimberly-Clark’s Asia-Pacific consumer business, Powell was responsible for the Company’s largest international region with operations in more than 30 countries, covering Australia, China, India and South Korea. Prior to that, he led the Kimberly-Clark Professional business globally, including a wide range of commercial products and services, led the Company’s consumer business in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, and served as Managing Director of its consumer business in Central and Eastern Europe.
Powell previously spent four years with Bain & Company, one of the world’s largest strategic management consulting firms, serving in its consumer practice, and eight years in sales leadership and brand management roles at Procter & Gamble. He holds an MBA from the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania and a bachelor’s degree from Washington University. He currently serves on the Board of Directors for Sherwin-Williams.
“The chance to join an iconic, powerhouse global brand like Pizza Hut, combined with the backing of a world-class and culture-rich company like Yum! Brands, created an opportunity I knew I had to be a part of and simply couldn’t pass up,” said Powell. “I’m excited to work with Kevin and Vipul, and can’t wait to begin working alongside and building relationships with such a talented team of employees and franchisees around the world.”