Former Kimberly-Clark executive to lead pizza chain as it embraces tech advancements, off-premises business
Yum Brands named Aaron Powell global Pizza Hut Division chief executive officer. The 50 year-old executive formerly served as president of Kimberly-Clark Corporation’s Asia-Pacific Consumer Business and will assume his new role at Yum September 20, 2021, reporting to its CEO, David Gibbs.
Powell is charged with the global responsibility for implementing the Pizza Hut Division’s ongoing growth strategies, franchise operations and performance, according to an announcement.
“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 US 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.”
At Kimberly-Clark, a manufacturer and marketer of personal care and household products, Powell served in several global leadership roles across business-to-business and consumer operations over a 14-year period. He’s versed in corporate strategy, M&A, sales, marketing, e-commerce and operations. Most recently, he held the position of president of Kimberly-Clark’s Asia-Pacific consumer business, overseeing operations in 30 countries, including Australia, China, India and South Korea.
Prior to Kimberly-Clark, Powell worked for four years at strategic management consultancy Bain & Company, serving in its consumer practice. He also spent eight years in sales leadership and brand management roles at Procter & Gamble.
Powell earned his MBA from the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania and Bachelor’s degree from Washington University. He currently serves on the Board of Directors for Sherwin-Williams.
As Pizza Hut continues to invest in its off-premises business and adapt to an on-the-go world, Powell’s arrival is critical to the brand achieving ongoing transformation. Kevin Hochman, president and chief concept officer, KFC US and interim president, Pizza Hut US, and Vipul Chawla, president Pizza Hut International, will report to Powell.
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.”
Pizza Hut’s Q2 2021 comparable sales grew 10% from last year, compared to a 9% decrease in the year-earlier quarter. Comparable store sales grew 16% abroad and 4% in the United States. On a two-year basis, the division’s comparable sales grew 6% internationally and 9% domestically.
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