Director, Innovation Labs



The Director of Innovation Labs is a unique position that will play a key role on the Yum! Brands Innovation team. As the leader of the Yum! Brands R.E.D. Labs, this role will drive strategy and execution of designing, developing, and building partner ecosystems and physical infrastructures to enable early-stage innovative concepts into prototypes and solutions that can eventually scale. This role has responsibility for building and managing digital and physical labs where innovators can test ideas around emerging technologies such as robotics and artificial intelligence.


  • Be at the heart of developing new ideas into demo-able products by working closely with emerging technologies.
  • Collaborate with data scientists, software engineers, product managers, mechanical/electrical engineers and technicians to create an environment for them as the end customer to enable their best work
  • Enables rapid prototyping cycles from technical requirements, designs, debugging, and optimization
  • Defines lab requirements, identify potential real estate, and develop digital and physical labs that provide the capabilities needed to design, build and test a wide range of technologies while reducing cost
  • Oversees the management of the day-to-day lab operations and financials of the labs
  • Manages the lab showcase, which features the latest cutting-edge innovations to the larger organization
  • Prioritizes the Proof of Concepts (POCs) as they are developed and vetted for scalability
  • Works with markets to ensure technologies take diverse business requirements into account
  • Ensures appropriate tools, skills, facilities and support structures are in place to support teams
  • Participates in initial solution definition activities; engaged regularly by teams to provide input
  • Manages the administration of the pipeline and resource allocation.
  • Consults on a regular basis with leadership to align expectations and deliverables
  • Owns the location strategy for physical labs and establish capabilities for each site
  • Explores and innovates new technologies, features, and tools
  • Responsible for the strategic planning of long-term and short-term goals, and creating innovative solutions to drive revenue from the lab
  • Ensures safety and compliance with regards to applicable regulations to digital and physical labs
  • Directs the development and implementation strategies for new methods needed to serve customers
  • Responsible for growing the technical staff within the lab


  • MS or BS in Computer Science or Electrical/Mechanical Engineering equivalent

Experience (and Other Qualifications)

  • 10+ years of leadership and management experience with an strong background in emerging technologies
  • 5+ years of experience in leadership roles with increasing responsibility
  • Excellent understanding of digital strategy, design, and development, including product design
  • Extensive knowledge of contemporary hardware and software engineering practices
  • Prior experience designing and building platforms and physical infrastructure
  • Understanding and experience in enterprise architecture, cloud platforms, and data analytics
  • Ability to lead through influence to drive change and achieve results in a large matrixed organization
  • Proven track record of driving complex estimates that take one or more projects into account and effectively communicating risks and dependencies to stakeholders
  • Professional project management knowledge of concepts and practices, specifically the agile development methodology
  • Ability to help members of the lab extended team to troubleshoot wide-ranging problems
  • Business knowledge as it relates to budgeting, labor analysis, and gross profit
  • Proven track record in the execution of a company’s business priorities and lab operations success
  • Excellent organizational, communication and interpersonal skills


The Yum! Brands story is simple. We have the three distinctive, relevant and easy global brands – KFC, Pizza Hut and Taco Bell -- born from the hopes and dreams, ambitions and grit of passionate entrepreneurs. And we want more of this to create our future!

As the world’s largest restaurant company we have a clear and compelling mission: to build the world’s most love, trusted and fastest-growing restaurant brands. The key and not-so-secret ingredient in our recipe for growth is our unrivaled talent and culture, which fuels our results.

We’re looking for talented, motivated, visionary and team-oriented leaders to join us as we elevate and personalize the customer experience across our 48,000 restaurants, operating in 145 countries and territories around the world!

We put pizza, chicken and tacos in the hands of customers through customized ordering, unique delivery approaches, app experiences, and click and collect services and consumer data analytics creating unique customer dining experiences – and we are only getting started.

Employees may work for a single brandand potentially grow to support all company-owned brands depending on their role. Regardless of where they work, as a company opening an average of 8 restaurants a day worldwide, the growth opportunities are endless. Taco Bell has been named of the 10 Most Innovative Companies in the World by Fast Company; Pizza Hut delivers more pizzas than any other pizza company in the world and KFC’s still use its 75-year-old finger lickin’ good recipe including secret herbs and spices to hand-bread its chicken every day.

Yum! and its brands have offices inChicago, IL,Louisville KY, Irvine, CA,Plano, TXand other markets around the world. We don’t just say we are a great place to work – our commitments to the world and our employees show it. Yum! has been named to the Dow Jones Sustainability North America Index and ranked among the top 100 Best Corporate Citizens by Corporate Responsibility Magazine in addition to being named to the Bloomberg Gender-Equality Index. Our employees work in an environment where the value of “believe in all people” is lived every day, enjoying benefits including but not limited to: 4 weeks’ vacation PLUS holidays, sick leave and 2 paid days to volunteer at the cause of their choice and a dollar-for-dollar matching gift program; generous parental leave; competitive benefits including medical, dental, vision and life insurance as well as a 6% 401k match – all encompassed in Yum!’s world-famous recognition culture.

Benefits at Yum!

Most of the employee programs and benefits are applicable in the U.S. Internationally, benefits are tailored by market and role. Check with your hiring team to see which ones apply to your job in your market.

Yum! Brands RSC, 1441 Gardiner Ln, Louisville, KY 40213, 502.874.8300

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