Yum! Brands (NYSE: YUM), the world’s largest restaurant company with nearly 38,000 KFC, Pizza Hut and Taco Bell restaurants in more than 120 countries, announced today that chairman and chief executive officer David Novak received the “2012 CEO of the Year” award from Chief Executivemagazine, an honor bestowed upon an outstanding corporate leader, nominated and selected by a group of his or her peers. Novak was recognized in front of more than 200 leading CEOs and other executives at an event hosted by NYSE Euronext and the Chief Executive Group at the New York Stock Exchange last night.
Novak is one of an elite group of executives recognized with this annual honor since its inception in 1986. He was selected by a group of his peers for Yum!’s sustained performance and the high level of employee engagement, leadership development and strategic alignment of the Company and its people under his leadership. Novak’s commitment to recognition and his people was one of the defining characteristics that impressed the members of the 2012 CEO of the Year Selection Committee. Yum!’s innovativeness in establishing its brands so vigorously in emerging markets also impressed his peers.
“Not only is David laser focused on what customers want and value, but he has developed a compelling vision and a comprehensive strategy,” said Alan Mulally, president and CEO, Ford Motor Company, and 2011 CEO of the Year. “And he follows that up with relentless implementation.” Mulally presented Novak with the “2012 CEO of the Year” award at the New York Stock Exchange.
Under Novak’s leadership, Yum! has established itself as a global powerhouse going from approximately 20 percent profits coming from outside the U.S. in 1997 to more than 70 percent in 2011, while driving one of the highest returns on invested capital in the restaurant industry. Today, Yum! is the leading retail developer in China as well as the largest and fastest growing restaurant company in emerging markets with a two-to-one advantage over its nearest competitor. The Company’s track record of success includes at least 13 percent earnings-per-share growth for each of the last 10 years.
Additionally, Novak has built Yum!’s entire global people-first culture around reward and recognition to drive results. He is noted for developing and personally training his “Taking People With You” leadership program to thousands of mangers and franchisees around the world during his 15 years at Yum! Brands. His book based on the highly successful program, TAKING PEOPLE WITH YOU: The Only Way to Make BIG Things Happen, is a New York Times and Wall Street Journal best-seller and all of his proceeds are donated to the United Nations World Food Programme in conjunction with Yum! Brands’ global hunger relief efforts.
Nominations for CEO of the Year were garnered from among the 124,000 readers of Chief Executive magazine. The 10 most frequently cited nominations were evaluated and a winner voted upon at a meeting of a peer Selection Committee, which took place earlier this year in New York City.
Prior CEO of the Year winners include Bill Gates, Jack Welch, Michael Dell, A.G. Lafley, John Chambers, Anne Mulcahy, Larry Bossidy, Andy Grove and Herb Kelleher.
The 2012 CEO of the Year Selection Committee was comprised of Brian Duperreault (CEO, Marsh & McLennan), Fred Hassan (Chairman, Schering-Plough), William Hickey (CEO, Sealed Air), Christine Jacobs (CEO, Theragenics), Alan Mulally (CEO, Ford Motor Company), William R. Nuti (CEO, NCR), Thomas J. Quinlan III (CEO, R.R. Donnelley), Jeffrey Sonnenfeld (CEO, The Yale Chief Executive Leadership Institute), and James Turley (CEO, Ernst & Young). Tom Saporito, Chairman of RHR International, was an advisor to the Selection Committee.
Yum! Brands, Inc., based in Louisville, Kentucky, is the world’s largest restaurant company in terms of system restaurants with nearly 38,000 restaurants in more than 120 countries and territories. Yum! is ranked #213 on the Fortune 500 List with revenues of more than $12 billion in 2011. The Company’s restaurant brands – KFC, Pizza Hut and Taco Bell – are the global leaders of the chicken, pizza and Mexican-style food categories. Outside the United States, the Yum! Brands system opened approximately four new restaurants each day of the year, making it a leader in international retail development.
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