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Yum Brands' CEO: Sometimes You Need to Fail to Succeed


Yum Brands CEO Greg Creed is a big believer in trying new things, even if the experiment ends in failure. He’s been spreading this message to employees since 2015, when he became CEO of the parent company of fast-food chains KFC, Taco Bell, and Pizza Hut.

“You can try something in one restaurant. We’ve got 44,000 restaurants. So even if it doesn’t go well in one restaurant, it’s not going to impact the business.” he tells Fortune.

Yum yum is one of America’s largest companies and is ranked on the Fortune 500 with revenues of more than $6 billion.

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Australian-born Creed is a high-energy, charismatic leader who joined Yum in 1994 after a long career at Unilever. He spends most of his time traveling around the world meeting Yum’s 90,000 employees in the 130 countries where it operates. He also uses those visits to teach classes on leadership and to encourage employees to make “big, courageous, and disruptive decisions.”

“Innovation can’t be what you do on a Thursday,” he says. “You can’t say ‘oh, we’re going to innovate on Thursday and the other days we’ll run the business.’ Innovation has to be in the spirit of the organization.”

Watch the video above for more of our conversation with Creed.

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