Yum! Brands, Inc. (NYSE: YUM) has announced the promotion of Sean Tresvant to Taco Bell Division Chief Executive Officer, reporting to Yum! Brands Chief Executive Officer David Gibbs, effective January 1, 2024. Tresvant, who currently serves as Global Chief Brand and Strategy Officer of Taco Bell, will succeed Mark King, who has announced his decision to retire at the end of 2023. As CEO, Tresvant will assume global responsibility for driving Taco Bell’s growth strategies, franchise operations and overall performance.
“Sean is a visionary business leader and best-in-class brand builder who is driving transformative R.E.D. (relevant, easy, distinctive) sales-powering efforts, from omni-channel initiatives to digital customer touchpoints, to accelerate growth and further elevate and differentiate the Taco Bell fan and team member experience,” said Gibbs. “Sean is laser focused on keeping our powerhouse Taco Bell brand at the leading edge of culture and redefining innovation in the industry. That’s why he is the ideal executive to continue successfully executing Taco Bell’s long-term global growth strategies and take them to the next level in partnership with the brand’s strong and accomplished leadership team and incredible franchisees. Sean, Mark and I will continue to work closely together over the coming months to ensure a seamless transition.”
Tresvant joined Taco Bell in January 2022 as Global Chief Brand Officer. He was promoted to an expanded role as Global Chief Brand and Strategy Officer earlier this year, focused on developing perspective and ambition for long-term global growth. As Global Chief Brand and Strategy Officer of Taco Bell, Tresvant has overseen the brand’s Strategy, Food Innovation, Architecture and Design and Global Communications functions as well as the Taco Bell International business. During his time with Taco Bell, Tresvant has set a powerful strategic framework that has created iconic moments within culture and driven massive awareness and buzz for the brand, including several high-profile celebrity partnerships and the return of the fan favorite Mexican Pizza. Prior to joining Taco Bell, Tresvant spent more than 15 years in leadership roles at Nike including Chief Marketing Officer of the Jordan Brand.
“The love our fans and team members have for Taco Bell is extraordinary and means we’re in a unique position to push the limits on culture and become a brand that inspires and enables the world to Live Más,” said Tresvant. “I’m grateful to have worked alongside Mark, and I’m incredibly honored and excited to continue partnering with our talented team and amazing franchisees on Taco Bell’s magic formula of brand buzz, innovation, value and digital initiatives to deliver industry-leading results in the U.S. and internationally.”
King joined Taco Bell in 2019 after successfully leading global sporting goods businesses with adidas. Under King’s leadership, the Taco Bell business prioritized on-trend innovation, leaned into everyday value and grew from strength to strength, finishing 2022 with same-store sales growth of 8%. Taco Bell’s digital business keeps growing, reporting 40% growth year over year in 2022, and the brand is leading the industry in exciting asset innovation such as the first-of-its kind Defy restaurant featuring a two-story design with a proprietary vertical lift to transport iconic Taco Bell menu items straight from the kitchen to fans. Additionally, the brand’s international business hit a significant development milestone as it reached 1,000 units globally in 2022. In 2023, Taco Bell earned the top spot on Entrepreneur magazine’s Franchise 500 Ranking for the third year running and was recently named on the TIME100 Most Influential Companies list. In addition, as Vice Chairman of the Taco Bell Foundation Board of Directors, King helped unlock the power of Good Growth, supporting young people in the communities where Taco Bell operates as well as unlocking education and entrepreneurial opportunities for restaurant Team Members. In 2023, the Taco Bell Foundation awarded $15 million in grants to 452 charities that champion youth and provided more than $10 million in Live Más Scholarships, the most in the nonprofit’s history.
“Taco Bell, our employees and our world-class franchisee partners have thrived under Mark’s leadership as he and his team have accelerated the innovation, sales growth and unique brand identity that make Taco Bell an undisputed global icon,” said Gibbs. “It was no surprise our industry recently recognized Mark as the Restaurant Leader of the Year, because he exemplifies what it means to be an innovator, risk taker and growth maker. I want to thank Mark for his outstanding leadership that not only drove strong results but also inspired restless creativity and enabled a people-first environment for everyone to thrive. While we will miss Mark, we wish him well as he enjoys this new phase of life with his family.”