Following Lora’s retirement, Liz Williams will step into the role of president of Taco Bell International.
“Everyone at Taco Bell has been positively impacted by the contributions of Melissa Lora over the last 30 years. I have had the privilege of working with many talented people, and Melissa is one of the brightest and most thoughtful leaders in the business,” said Brian Niccol, CEO of Taco Bell. “Her accomplishments have made an enduring impact on our people, culture, and business, and have paved the path for us to continue opening new restaurants around the world, pursuing our path to more than 9,000 restaurants by 2022.”
After receiving her MBA from the University of Southern California, Lora joined Taco Bell as an analyst in 1987. In 1998, Lora moved to the East Coast and became vice president general manager Northeast, and was tasked with growing the brand in the region. After years of success, in 2001, she moved back to California. As CFO and chief of development for 12 years, Lora set the stage for Taco Bell’s record restaurant development and championed its leading economic model.
In 2013, Lora was named president of international, a role that was created after Taco Bell took over international expansion from Yum! Brands. Her combined experience in general management, finance, development, and franchise management created a strategy for global expansion focused on building brand. This year, Taco Bell International achieved record new restaurant openings, entering five new countries with growth-minded franchise partners.
Melissa Lora will be retiring in the summer of 2018.
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