FILE PHOTO: A Pizza Hut logo is pictured outside its restaurant in Vienna, Virginia October 5, 2010. REUTERS/Larry Downing

(Reuters) – Yum Brands Inc (YUM.N) on Monday named company veteran David Gibbs as its chief executive officer, succeeding Greg Creed, who will be retiring at the end of the year.

Gibbs, 55, has been with the company since 1989, holding several senior roles including chief financial officer for three years before taking charge as chief operating officer earlier this year.

Creed, who has been with Yum for 25 years, will remain as CEO through the end of 2019. He will serve as a part-time adviser next year and also remain on the company’s board.

The 62-year-old has held the CEO role since 2015 and executed the 2016 spinoff of Yum China. The company’s stock has more than doubled since Creed took the helm.

Yum, which has over 48,000 Pizza Hut, Taco Bell and KFC restaurants across the globe, is among several restaurant chains facing a tough and competitive market.

Louisville, Kentucky-based Yum bought a stake in food-ordering company GrubHub (GRUB.N) early last year to improve its delivery services, a priority for today’s customers.

Gibbs, who will assume the new role on Jan. 1, served as a chief strategy officer during which he revamped Yum’s global restaurant operations model. He was also the CEO of the global Pizza Hut division.

Reporting by Nivedita Balu in Bengaluru; Editing by Maju Samuel

Our Standards:The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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