Restaurant News: Yum! Brands creates ‘innovation officer’ position at struggling Taco Bell
In a little noticed move, Yum! Brands executives have a new “chief marketing and innovation officer,” creating the latter position to get its Taco Bell brand back on track.
Oddly, Yum! Brands execs chose an insider to revive the public image of the struggling faux Mexican brand – Brian Niccol – according to Restaurant News, which broke the story last week.
Niccol had been general manager and chief marketing officer of Pizza Hut.
He replaces David Ovens, who stepped down as Taco Bell CMO on Aug. 25.
Direct Marketing has a follow-up blog post that goes into the reasoning behind choosing an internal candidate.
The ascension of Niccol and the departure of Ovens follows a dramatic Taco Bell revenue decline after national media from the New York Times to the Wall Street Journal reported a class-action suit by Beasley Allen in Alabama alleging there is little or no meat in a Taco Bell taco.
The firm withdrew the suit last April, but Taco Bell sales have been slow to recover.