Yum Brands pledges $100M for new initiative fighting inequality

Yum Brands CEO: Forgoing salary in wake of coronavirus

Yum! Brands CEO David Gibbs discusses efforts to care for employees during the coronavirus pandemic.

Yum Brands is taking steps to fight inequality.

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In an open letter published Thursday, Yum CEO David Gibbs explained the company would be launching a new program called the Unlocking Opportunity Initiative with a $100 million investment over the next five years.

“Though addressing inequality is challenging and complex and there is no easy fix, as the world’s largest restaurant company, we’re at an inflection point where our actions can, and should, make real and lasting change,” Gibbs wrote.

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According to the letter, the initiative will focus on three areas: education, entrepreneurship and equity and inclusion.

Gibbs also listed several specific action steps the company will be taking.

He said Yum — which owns KFC, Pizza Hut, Taco Bell and The Habit Burger Grill franchises — would set targets for diverse representation among the company’s executives, managers, franchisees and suppliers.

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Gibbs said the company would also release “inclusive leadership and anti-racism training across our system” and “invest in entrepreneurship, education and social justice in communities throughout the U.S. that have been historically marginalized,” among other action steps.

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“While the road ahead will not be easy, I’m more confident and convicted than ever that with the strength of our culture, we will meet the challenges head-on,” Gibbs wrote.

“I am proud to see our company courageously coming together to shape a future with more equality, fairness and opportunity for all,” he added. “We simply can’t miss this historic moment to do our part to unlock opportunities that improve the lives of the people who run our restaurants and serve our local communities.”

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