David Gibbs

Credit: Courtesy of Yum Brands

Made-to-order career advice

David Gibbs, Engr '85, didn't have a master plan when he left Homewood: "I just took opportunities as they came that seemed interesting and allowed me to grow," he says.

Today, Gibbs is the CEO of Yum Brands—operator of some of the world's most popular food brands, including KFC, Taco Bell, Pizza Hut, and The Habit Burger Grill—and no two days are the same. One week, he jets off to Singapore for a global convention of franchise partners. The next, he dances with Maasai warriors to celebrate a new restaurant opening in Kenya. Then he's back home in Dallas, meeting with board members and poring over earnings reports.

Gibbs worked his way up the ladder since joining the company in 1989, and he's savored every step along the way: "The key to a successful career is to enjoy the journey while knowing that the destination is never more fun than the adventures involved in getting there."

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