Yum! Brands, Inc. (NYSE:YUM) experienced unbelievable growth in the past decade under the stewardship of chief executive David C. Novak. The company determined last month that in order to build on that success it would appoint current Taco Bell CEO, Greg Creed, as the next chief executive of the parent company that owns Taco Bell, KFC, and Pizza Hut.
Taco Bell’s Musical CEOs
Today, the announcement was made that Mr. Niccol will slide into Creed’s role at Taco Bell.
“He is a dynamic leader who genuinely cares about this brand, its people and the culture of the organization,” Mr. Creed said in a statement. “He has a proven track record and the necessary vision to deliver our growth objectives.”
Visionary or mad scientist? There is a case to be made for both as Niccol oversaw the rollout of Taco Bell’s breakfast menu that includes among other things the “Waffle Taco.” An abomination of syrup covered sausage and eggs delivered via a waffle sufficiently undercooked to wrap all the ingredients together.
That’s not to say Niccol did anything but a great job with the product. He clearly understands what millions are willing to shove in their mouths despite presumably knowing better as they drive to work.
Further crimes against food
Mr. Niccol is also adding the morning version of the chain’s Quesarito: a cheese laden quesadilla wrapped around scrambled eggs with the option of adding sausage, steak, or bacon. In a recent interview with Nation’s Restaurant News, a trade publication, Mr. Niccol described the Quesarito that tested in Oklahoma city as “a killer product.” Perhaps not the best endorsement for those that worry about what they’re eating.
Creed’s accomplishments are equally noteworthy and include the largest product introduction in Taco Bell’s history….Doritos Locos Tacos. In which Taco Bell’s standard offerings are piled (scooped) into a taco shell-sized Nacho Cheese Dorito. He also inaugurated the healthier options on the Cantina Bell menu to make up for his other sins against the epicurean landscape with chef Lorena Garcia.
Creed will have his work cut out for him as he tries to return KFC to the glory days when it owned the the American fast food fried chicken business. That distinction has been lost to the Chick-fil-A franchise this year. It’s chicken apparently tasting good enough for many to forgive the homophobic nature of the company’s CEO.
KFC which is omnipresent in China has also stumbled in the Middle Kingdom under the specter of bird flu.