Sean Tresvant has been promoted to to Chief Executive Officer for Taco Bell, the 9th largest fast-food chain in the world, with him making history as the first Black person to assume the role.
According to a press release shared by Yum! Brands, Tresvant will start the position on Jan. 1, 2024, succeeding Mark King, who announced he will retire at the end of 2023.
As CEO, Tresvant, who joined the company as the Global Chief Brand Officer in 2022, will have global responsibility “for driving Taco Bell’s growth strategies, franchise operations and overall performance,” according to the release. Taco Bell has 7,200 restaurants worldwide and servws 2 billion tacos and 1 billion burritos each year, according to Food and Wine.
He will be reporting directly to David Gibbs, Chief Executive Officer of Taco Bell’s parent company, Yum! Brands. Gibbs says he is excited to work with Tresvant because of all the gifts he brings to the table.
“Sean is a visionary business leader and best-in-class brand builder who is driving transformative R.E.D. (relevant, easy, distinctive) sales-powering efforts, from omni-channel initiatives to digital customer touchpoints, to accelerate growth and further elevate and differentiate the Taco Bell fan and team member experience,” said Gibbs.
He added, “Sean is laser-focused on keeping our powerhouse Taco Bell brand at the leading edge of culture and redefining innovation in the industry. That’s why he is the ideal executive to continue successfully executing Taco Bell’s long-term global growth strategies and take them to the next level in partnership with the brand’s strong and accomplished leadership team and incredible franchisees.”
Tresvant’s skill set has come from his over 15 years with Nike, listed as one of Forbes’ world’s most valuable brands. While working through the ranks at the mega-company, he found himself as the Chief Marketing Officer at Michael Jordan’s multibillion-dollar company, Jordan Brand.
Now he is turning all of his attention to making sure Taco Bell becomes an even more powerful brand.
“The love our fans and team members have for Taco Bell is extraordinary and means we’re in a unique position to push the limits on culture and become a brand that inspires and enables the world to Live Más,” said Tresvant.
According to Gibbs, he and the outgoing Taco Bell CEO will work closely with Tresvant to ensure a “seamless transition.”
“I’m grateful to have worked alongside Mark,” he continued, adding, “And I’m incredibly honored and excited to continue partnering with our talented team and amazing franchisees on Taco Bell’s magic formula of brand buzz, innovation, value, and digital initiatives to deliver industry-leading results in the U.S. and internationally.”
In 2023, there are only eight Black CEOs leading Fortune 500 companies—the highest since the list’s debut in 1955. While Taco Bell is not technically listed as one of the exclusive brands that Fortune highlights, its parent company is, making Tresvant’s rise to the position even more impressive and groundbreaking.