Senn Delaney congratulates long-time client Yum! Brands Chairman and CEO David Novak on Being Honored as 2012 CEO of the Year by Chief Executive magazine

Jun 28, 2012

June 28, 2012
Senn Delaney congratulates long-time client Yum! Brands Chairman and CEO David Novak, who leads the world's largest restaurant company with 37,000 KFC, Pizza Hut and Taco Bell restaurants in 125 countries, on being recognized as Chief Executive magazine 2012 CEO of the Year.

“David is an exemplary leader and a strong example of what we at Senn Delaney have defined as a ‘Thriving' leader. We first began work with Yum! Brands some years ago, David asked us to help him build a global recognition culture. He has done that far better than most CEOs,” says Senn Delaney Chairman Dr. Larry Senn. Read Dr. Senn article, Lessons from a Thriving CEO.

Novak is the 27th CEO to receive the award, joining the ranks of such luminaries as Bill Gates, Jack Welch, Michael Dell, A.G. Lafley, John Chambers, Anne Mulcahy, Larry Bossidy, Andy Grove and Herb Kelleher.

Under Novak's leadership, Yum! Brands has established itself as a global powerhouse going from approximately 20 percent of profits coming from outside the U.S. in 1997 to more than 70 percent in 2011, while driving one of the highest returns on invested capital in the restaurant industry. Today, Yum! Brands is the leading retail developer in China as well as the largest and fastest-growing restaurant company in emerging markets. The company's track record of success includes at least 13 percent earnings-per-share growth for each of the last 10 years. Novak has created a unique recognition culture along with a leadership training program called "Taking People With You" that has been cascaded around the globe.

“Any CEO who can put together 10 consecutive years of 13-percent-plus earnings growth has a message for all of us who run and lead companies,” adds Dr. Senn. “If you can do that with 1.4 million employees in 117 countries, the global lessons are even stronger. When asked how he accomplished that, David said in a recent thought leaders video conversation, ‘…the single highest priority I had was to really create a global culture where we can galvanize around the behaviors that we know will drive results in our industry.' ”

"Not only is David laser-focused on what customers want and value, but he has developed a compelling vision and a comprehensive strategy. And he follows that up with relentless implementation," states 2011 CEO of the Year Alan Mulally, Ford Motor Company President and CEO, in Chief Executive magazine's announcement of Novak as CEO of the Year.

Dr. Senn notes that study after study has confirmed that companies like Yum! that align their cultures with their strategies outperform those that do not by a wide margin. “That kind of alignment around a carefully defined culture is what David meant when he said in a recent thought leadership video that he has focused as a leader on galvanizing people around the behaviors that drive business results. Those behaviors were called the How We Work Together Principles when we first developed them at Yum!, and they later became the How We Win Together Principles. Both emerged from insights gained in facilitated retreats with David and his executive team.”

Senn Delaney is pleased to share a recent thought leadership video interview with Novak on creating the iconic culture of recognition that he says has been a key ingredient in Yum! Brands' growth and success. Watch the video on Senn Delaney's thought leadership video channel, SDTV. View video.

“I encourage leaders to watch this video because I believe there are a number of great lessons here for all leaders, and especially for CEOs who want to be Thriving leaders and create Thriving organizational cultures,” adds Senn Delaney President and CEO Jim Hart. At the end of the video, Senn examines why Novak exemplifies a thriving leader and shares lessons for other CEOs.

The CEO of the Year honor is bestowed upon an outstanding corporate leader, nominated and selected by a group of his or her peers. This year's selection committee included Brian Dupperault, Marsh President and CEO; Fred Hassan, Warburg Pincus Senior Partner and Bausch+Lomb Chairman; William Hickey, Sealed Air President and CEO; Christine Jacobs, Theragenics Chairman, President and CEO; Alan Mulally, Ford Motor Company CEO (2011 recipient); William R. Nuti, NCR chairman and CEO; Thomas J. Quinlan III, RR Donnelley President and CEO; Jeffrey Sonnenfeld, President and Chief Executive, The Chief Executive Leadership Institute – Yale School of Management; and James Turley, chairman and chief executive, Ernst & Young.

Senn Delaney CEO Jim Hart and Chairman Dr. Larry Senn will attend the invitation-only CEO of the Year Dinner hosted by NYSE Euronext and the Chief Executive Group at the New York Stock Exchange Aug. 2 to honor Novak. 


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