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How I Got Here: Scott Mezvinsky

How I Got Here: Scott Mezvinsky

Published 03-06-24

Submitted by Yum! Brands

Scott Mezvinsky, title, and Taco Bell logo

In the #HowIGotHere series, you’ll read about the career paths of some of the world-renowned leaders at Yum! Brands. Learn more about Scott Mezvinsky, Taco Bell President of North America & International, in this installment.


  • Bettendorf High School
    • Bettendorf, Iowa, United States (1989 – 1993)
  • Southern Methodist University
    • Bachelor of Business Administration, Accounting Dallas, Texas, United States (1993 – 1997)
  • University of Chicago, Booth School of Business
    • Master of Business Administration Chicago, Illinois, United States (2002 – 2004)

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

I wasn’t a very focused student, and school always seemed like a chore. A few teachers would probably be very surprised that I made it all the way through graduate school!

What did you want to be when you grew up?

My dad was a tax accountant, so I majored in it in college, and my first job after graduating was in accounting. But I quickly realized being an accountant was not for me!


First Job: Starting at age 16 and through college, I worked as a McDonald’s team member. That job had a big impact on me and is a big reason why I decided to join Yum! after business school.

  • McDonald's, Dallas, Texas
    1991-1997: Team Member
  • Deere & Company, Moline, Illinois
    1997-2002: Accountant
  • KFC, Louisville, Kentucky
    2004-2005: Senior Analyst, Strategic Planning
    2005-2006: Associate Manager, Sales Forecasting
    2006-2007: Manager, Sales Forecasting
    2007-2008: Senior Manager, Financial Planning
  • Yum! Restaurants International, Plano, Texas
    2008-2010: Director, Strategic Planning
    2010-2011: Director, Strategic Planning/M&A
  • Yum! Brands Russia, Moscow, Russia
    2011-2014: Chief Development Officer
  • KFC Latin America & Caribbean, Fort Lauderdale, Florida
    2014-2016: Chief Development Officer
    2016-2018: Vice President, Development & Operations
  • KFC Iberia, Madrid, Spain
    2018-2021: General Manager
  • Taco Bell, Irvine, California
    2021-2023: Chief Strategy & Financial Officer
    2023: Managing Director, North America
    2023: President, North America
    2023 - present: President, North America & International

Do you believe in work/life balance?

I love what I do and am motivated every day to come into work. I’m fueled by the challenges we face and working with others to help move the business forward. Because of this, work is a bit of an adrenaline rush, and I probably appear “on” too much. There are pros and cons to being able to do so much of my job with only an iPhone, but one of those pros is the flexibility it provides me to be able to do things for my family or personally while also remaining connected.

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

Leading Development for an International Market
The biggest impact on my career happened when I led development for Yum! in a large international market. Moving overseas and leading a team in a function where I had little experience was by far the biggest, but also most rewarding, challenge of my career and life. There were days where I questioned my own abilities and my decision to take on the role, but the team was incredibly supportive. I was pushed beyond my comfort zone and collaborated with a driven team. I’ve always tried to carry this forward with me on each team I’ve been part of.

Mentored by Martin Shuker
In my first year as a general manager in Europe, I worked with a legend in the KFC system, Martin Shuker. I was particularly lucky to have that time and guidance from Martin as it was his last year before retiring from a long, illustrious career with Yum!. I absorbed a lot from Martin, like the importance of investing in the development of your team and an unwavering commitment to excellence in all aspects of the business.

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

The best advice I received was from Martin Shuker in my time with KFC Europe. He told me to have strong opinions that are held lightly, which means having a balanced approach to your beliefs, and embracing continuous learning and personal growth.


I’ve learned over the years that the power and joy of winning is universal. When teams get aligned around a clear vision and see winning results, they are capable of producing far more than even the highest expectations.

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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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