Taco Bell-parent Yum Brands' CEO Greg Creed to retire, to be replaced by COO David Gibbs

Key Points
  • Yum Brands says current COO David Gibbs has been tapped as CEO, effective Jan. 1, 2020.
  • Gibbs will replace Greg Creed, who has been with Yum for 25 years.
David Gibbs
Stefanie Smith | CNBC

Taco Bell's parent company Yum Brands on Monday said David Gibbs has been tapped as CEO, effective Jan. 1, 2020.

Gibbs will be succeeding Greg Creed, who is retiring after being with Yum for 25 years. He's been CEO since Jan. 2015. Prior to that, he led Taco Bell and introduced the Doritos Locos tacos to the world.

Gibbs, 55, currently serves as Yum's president and chief operating officer, overseeing the global Pizza Hut, KFC and Taco Bell divisions. The company also is appointing Gibbs to its board, effective Nov. 1.

"I've had the privilege of partnering with our franchisees to grow the three iconic brands within the Yum! Brands portfolio for over 30 years and am honored to follow in Greg's footsteps," Gibbs said in a statement.

"I am excited to accept this new role as we conclude the third and final year of our company's strategic transformation," he continued. "Because of our journey to become more focused, franchised and efficient, we're now in the best position we've ever been in to accelerate growth and improve franchise unit economics, but we still have more to achieve."

Yum said Creed, 62, will serve as a part-time advisor next year and will remain on Yum's board of directors.

"The best of Yum! is still to come and I'm delighted we have an exceptional leader like David who will drive the next wave of growth for our company," Creed said in a statement.

Yum recently reported same-store sales growth of 5% during its second quarter, driven by strong performance at Taco Bell and KFC. Delivery has helped boost sales for the company, which also owns a minority stake in GrubHub.

Yum shares are up more than 25% this year.

—CNBC's Amelia Lucas contributed to this reporting.