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The Habit President Promoted to CEO

Russ Bendel to retire in June, Shannon Hennessy to take over

Yum Brands Inc. (NYSE: YUM) has promoted Shannon Hennessy to chief executive officer of The Habit Burger Grill division, effective June 6.

The incoming executive is currently president of the Irvine-based burger chain and will succeed CEO Russ Bendel when he retires in June. After holding leadership roles at The Cheesecake Factory, Outback Steakhouse, El Torito and others, Bendel joined The Habit in 2008 and has helped grow its restaurant count from 16 to almost 350 as of 2022.

Russ Bendel, CEO, The Habit Burger Grill

The Habit was acquired by Yum Brands in 2020.

Hennessy started with Yum Brands that same year as chief financial officer of the KFC business before transitioning to The Habit last July.  She had previously worked in management consulting as an analyst and later partner at the firm McKinsey & Co.

“With [Hennessy’s] background as KFC Global Division CFO and her nearly 20 years with McKinsey & Company, she has a unique skillset that will be vital as we continue to scale The Habit,” Yum Brands CEO David Gibbs said in a statement.

The Habit grew its franchised restaurant base by 18% in 2022 and reported $2 million in average unit volumes across its locations.

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