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Dallas 500

Meet the Dallas 500: Tracy Skeans

The chief operating officer and chief people officer for Yum! Brands talks about her future forecast, the best advice she's ever received, and more.
By | |Illustration by Andrea Chavez
Tracy Skeans
Tracy Skeans, COO & CPO Yum! Brands Illustration by Andrea Chavez
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Tracy Skeans, COO & CPO Yum! Brands

In her dual position as chief operating officer and chief people officer, Tracy Skeans has her hands in many sectors of Yum! Brands, the company behind KFC, Taco Bell, Pizza Hut, and more. Along with having global responsibility for leading cross-brand collaboration, she oversees business transformation, food safety, human resources, equity and inclusion, and communications. Skeans said she has learned that it’s important to stay open to possibilities. “Early on in my career, I was presented with an opportunity to shift my career path from finance to human resources,” she says. “I ultimately said ‘yes’ to the risks and new challenges in front of me, and that decision led to even more exciting and rewarding opportunities.”

Education: University of Pittsburgh (MBA-Finance), Lehigh University (BS-Accounting) 

Birthplace: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

First Job: “I worked retail at Casual Corner and babysat in high school. Post-college, I was an auditor for PWC.”

Best Advice: “If you don’t skin your knee, you aren’t running fast enough. I encourage people to be courageous and take strategic risks to advance their goals.”

Nonprofit Cause: “I’m passionate about advancing female talent. I serve as chair of the board of the Women’s Foodservice Forum.”

Proud Moment: “Despite a challenging operating environment, we continued making progress around our business and social purpose strategy: ‘recipe for growth and good.’ Not only did this help us achieve the strongest growth year in our history, it also advanced Yum!’s efforts to support DEI and make continued investments in unlocking opportunities for our employees and communities.”

Must-Read: “I recommend The Power of Moments: Why Certain Experiences Have Extraordinary Impact by Chip and Dan Heath. It’s about being more intentional in identifying memorable and life-changing moments and how we can increase the likelihood of creating these moments.”

Go-To Adviser: “I have tremendous respect for Yum! Brands CEO David Gibbs and the world-class leaders who serve on our company’s board of directors. Their perspectives on business and leadership are invaluable.”

Industry Change “Across all industries,we need to see more women in board rooms and in the C-Suite.”

Bucket List: “Watching the Pittsburgh Steelers bring home their seventh Super Bowl win.”

Future Forecast: “I’m excited about finding more ways to elevate the employee and customer experience and seeing all the opportunities that Yum! and the entire restaurant industry can unlock for incoming generations of leaders who want to get into this exciting and rewarding business.”

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