Brolick, Yum!'s chief operating officer, worked for the fast-food chain for 12 years, his last position as a senior vice president under founder Dave Thomas.
Brolick, who was with Yum! Brands since 2000, succeeds Roland Smith, who will step down from his role as president and CEO but will act as a senior adviser during a transition period with Brolick through the end of the year, the company said Thursday in a release. He assumes his duties Sept. 12.
Smith will remain on Wendy's board of directors.
"We are thrilled to welcome Emil back to the Wendy's family," said Nelson Peltz, chairman of The Wendy's Company. "Emil is a proven brand-builder in the restaurant industry who recently led the turnaround of Taco Bell and drove strong same-store sales growth."
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