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How I Got Here: Jack Hinchliffe

How I Got Here: Jack Hinchliffe

Published 02-14-24

Submitted by Yum! Brands

headshot of Jack Hinchliffe

In the #HowIGotHere series, you’ll read about the career paths of some of the world-renowned leaders at Yum! Brands. Learn more about Jack Hinchliffe, Chief Marketing Officer at The Habit Burger Grill in this installment.


  • de Ferrers High School. 
    Burton-upon-Trent, England (1996 –2002)
  • Nottingham University 
    B.A., English & Philosophy, Nottingham, England (2002 – 2005)

If we were to interview your teachers, what would they say about you?

Jack was the life and soul of the classroom and endlessly curious. When he discovered something new, his enthusiasm and passion ignited like a flame.

What did you want to be when you grew up?

I wanted to be a police officer. I loved police TV dramas and movies. I had the notion that, in real life, the police were a cross between the Michael Mann movie Heat and the Sherlock Holmes stories.

But, when I was 16, I did a week work experience at a police station in Uttoxeter, which is a sleepy rural town in the middle of England. While there, not a single crime was committed, and the only call out was for a tractor fire. It wasn’t quite what I had envisioned, and the dream ended there.


First Job: My very first job was as a paperboy, followed by a stint as a waiter when I was 15 years old.

  • Kraft Foods 
    2005 - 2007: Field Sales Executive; Nottingham, England 
    2007 - 2008: National Account Manager; Nottingham, England 
    2008 - 2009: Senior National Account Manager; Cheltenham, England
  • Mondelēz International 
    2009 - 2011: Senior National Account Manager; Cheltenham, England 
    2011 - 2013: Revenue Planning Manager; Uxbridge, England 
    2013 - 2015: Senior Brand Manager; Uxbridge, England
  • KFC UK & Ireland 
    2015: Senior Marketing Manager; Woking, England 
    2015 - 2016: Head of Innovation; Woking, England 
    2016 - 2019: Innovation Director; Woking, England 
    2019 - 2021: Marketing Director; Woking, England 
    2021 - 2023: Chief Marketing Officer; Woking, England
  • The Habit Burger Grill 
    2023 - Present: Chief Marketing Officer; Irvine, California, United States
Jack Hinchliffe holding a cup

Do you believe in work/life balance?

I enjoy being all-in. For me, I find the healthiest blance when I’m committed to the moment, whether it be at work or outside. I don’t create rules or divisions between the two; I just try to be present in the moment.

Because of this, I’ve really enjoyed being back in the office. For me the physical environment makes it easier to stay present and avoid tinkering with things that aren’t urgent.

What moments, or who, in your life influenced the way you work?

Learning to Be My True Self

Growing up as a gay kid in the ‘90s in an industrial town, I felt like I didn't belong. Those feelings stayed with me, and I spent the first 10 years of my career concealing that part of myself at work. Joining KFC brought about a significant transformation in my life, primarily due to my choices and actions, but the people and the environment at KFC also played a pivotal role. Everyone deserves to feel like they belong at work and in the world. That's why I strive to play my part in creating a space where people can bring their whole selves, openly share their thoughts and have a seat at the table.

Trusting My Gut

Seven years into my Kraft Foods career, I faced a crucial decision: a desired sales team promotion or a lateral move into marketing. I followed my gut, made the move to marketing, and it paid off. This experience taught me the value of encouraging others to venture into new opportunities, challenging oneself to embrace change, understanding the importance of having a plan but being open to adjustments, and realizing that when faced with choices without a clear "wrong" decision, go with the choice that burns that little bit brighter in your heart.

Long Job Tenure

At KFC UK&I, I was fortunate to spend eight years in the same business unit within the same division. During this time, I truly grasped the significant influence that consistency and long-term commitment can have, both on business performance and personal growth.

What do people think you do versus what you actually do?

A lot of people will mistake marketing for advertising, so people often mistake my job as making adverts, which is a small part of the job. Even when I am involved in advertising, I don’t direct, produce or write, so it’s quite hard to explain the role I play in the process.

Most of what I do is in the pursuit of creating value for the customer – that the food we serve, the experience we offer and the things we stand for that come together in the form of a brand promise that we make to our customers.

What is the best piece of advice that you've been given?

As a leader at any level, it’s easy to underestimate the impact your words and actions can have. When you speak and act, imagine you’re doing so through a megaphone. You think it’s only at a 6, but it’s actually at a 10.


It doesn’t take much. I’m mostly happy.

Being with my dog makes me pretty happy.


Nine months ago, my husband Sean and I embarked on a major life transition, relocating from London to California. This journey required changing brands, starting a new job and moving to a different country. I wouldn’t have been able to do this without Sean’s support and partnership. Together, we navigated through a multitude of logistical challenges, from setting up a bank account and acquiring a car to securing a place to call home.

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Yum! Brands

Yum! Brands

Yum! Brands, Inc., based in Louisville, Kentucky, has over 54,000 restaurants in more than 155 countries and territories, operating the Company’s brands – KFC, Pizza Hut and Taco Bell – global leaders of the chicken, pizza and Mexican-style food categories. The Company’s family of brands also includes The Habit Burger Grill, a fast-casual restaurant concept specializing in made-to-order chargrilled burgers, sandwiches and more. Yum! Brands was named to the 2021 Dow Jones Sustainability Index North America and was ranked on Newsweek’s list of 2021 America’s Most Responsible Companies. In 2022, Yum! Brands was named to 3BL Media’s 100 Best Corporate Citizens.

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