Women in Business Q&A: Tracy Skeans, Chief Transformation and People Officer, Yum! Brands

by Laura Emily Dunn
Jun 28, 2017 8:35 AM ET

Tracy Skeans is Chief Transformation and People Officer of Yum! Brands, Inc., one of the world’s largest restaurant companies with over 43,500 restaurants in more than 135 countries and territories with 1.5 million associates. Its 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 opens over six new restaurants per day, making it a leader in global retail development.

What do you want Yum to accomplish in the next year?

We’re off to a running start in executing our multi-year transformation. We’re on track with our refranchising and cost-saving initiatives which are elevating our organization into one that is more focused, more franchised and more efficient.

As we transform, engaging and attracting talent is a top priority. I’m focused on spending time with our new and emerging leaders around the world and getting to know them personally. One of the things I value about Yum! is how we take a very personalized approach to developing people and growing their careers. In addition to providing aggressive development plans, programs and learning platforms, we invest in our employees by giving them meaningful roles and challenging opportunities. We’re also focused on moving our top talent around the organization in order to create broader leadership profiles.

Importantly, we know that investing in and leveraging Yum!’s unrivaled culture and talent will help us fuel results. Our people and our unique culture remain our biggest competitive advantage. The exciting thing is that a transformation mindset is taking hold throughout our organization. We’re challenging everyone to think, act and lead differently in order to unlock our full potential as a global growth company. This is an exciting time at Yum! and I’m extremely optimistic about the future.