Tobby Lowings will become CEO of Yum! Brands KFC division effective Jan. 1, 2019. Lowings, a 24-year veteran of the company, who serves as KFC Division president and chief operating officer, will succeed Roger Eaton who will retire at the end of 2018.

In this new role, Lowings will assume global responsibility for driving the brand strategy and performance of KFC, which has more than $24 billion in global system sales and more than 21,000 restaurants in more than 130 countries and territories as of year-end 2017, per a release announcing the transition.

Lowings has held a variety of leadership positions at Yum! Brands across finance, operations and general management in several international business units. Prior to becoming president and COO of the KFC Division earlier this year, Lowings was managing director of Asia-Pacific. He previously served as managing director of KFC SOPAC (Australia and New Zealand). Lowings' career at the company includes roles as COO Yum! Restaurants International, managing director of Latin America and the Caribbean for KFC, Pizza Hut and Taco Bell and general manager of KFC and Pizza Hut in Australia and New Zealand.

Eaton has been with Yum! Brands and KFC for more than 20 years, leading the KFC brand globally since 2014. He has held a number of leadership positions including COO of Yum! Brands, CEO of KFC U.S., chief operating and development officer of Yum! Brands and sr. vice present/managing director of Yum! Restaurants International South Pacific (SOPAC), among others.