KFC Corporation has named Monica Rothgery chief operating officer of KFC U.S., effective immediately. As the COO, Rothgery will oversee operational strategy and execution to drive operations simplification, improved processes, new labor models, and technology integration.

In addition, she will assume overall responsibility for leading franchise and equity field operations for the brand’s 4,100-plus restaurants across the United States.

“In her nearly three decades with Yum! Brands, Monica has demonstrated outstanding operational leadership,” says Kevin Hochman, president of KFC U.S. “Her knowledge of the business, passion for people, and ability to drive results make her the perfect choice to be our COO.”

In August 2018, Rothgery joined KFC U.S. as chief restaurant productivity officer, taking on the responsibility of developing (alongside franchise leadership) new operations processes to deliver on improved restaurant productivity.

She spent her first several months in the field, immersing herself in restaurant operations and working closely with franchisees and restaurant teams across the U.S. to identify opportunities to simplify operations and improve brand compliance initiatives. She takes over the COO role following the recent retirement of KFC’s former KFC U.S. COO Phil Klezmer.

“It has been an honor to contribute to the enhanced operations for Yum! Brands, and I’m thrilled to step into this new role as COO,” says Rothgery. “KFC is a leader in its category because of the passion and dedication of each and every one of our team members, and I’m looking forward to continuing to work closely with our franchisees, operators and leadership team to strengthen the brand and restaurant operations.”

With a Yum! Brands career spanning nearly three decades, Rothgery joined Taco Bell in 1992 as a restaurant general manager. After 17 years in various human resources and operations roles with the U.S. divisions, Rothgery joined KFC Thailand in 2014, where she served as chief operations and people officer. During her tenure in Thailand, the brand grew from 350 restaurants to 700 restaurants.

Rothgery modernized the operating system, step-changed operational performance and standards by improving food safety, and provided operations support for more than 200 new restaurants. Prior to joining Yum!, Monica was an officer in the United States Army. She earned a bachelor’s degree in biology from John Carroll University and a master’s degree in written communication from National Louis University.

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