Truth is, we’re only a little sad his dreams of making it to the Big League struck out, because Mike Diamond is knocking it out of the park here at Pizza Hut. Read more to learn about Pizza Hut’s Chief Financial Officer.
Who inspired you most when you were young? My dad has always been someone I look up to and he really shaped me into the person I am today. I appreciated that he would bring me into the conversation and show me the bigger picture – what he did in finance and the impact of his actions. I learned to look at things from different perspectives beyond just the numbers. And today I’m modeling this for my kids as well as my team.
Can you share more on this? There is always a risk that as a ‘finance guy’ you end up using data to call balls and strikes but not push the conversation forward. I believe our role in finance is to not just tell the weather (i.e. data as it appears on paper) but use the data to drive the right decisions and help others in the organization advocate for right strategy and necessary changes to help the company succeed.
But finance was not your first choice as a career, tell us about that. I grew up in central Ohio as a huge fan of the Cincinnati Reds and had (in my mind at least) Greg Maddux-like control as a pitcher. When I was young, I dreamed of being a starting pitcher for the Cincinnati Reds. As I got older, however, I realized that all that control with no speed made me a very effective batting practice pitcher and little else – my dreams were dashed at 13!
You started out in investment banking and consulting, before making the jump to Pizza Hut in 2014. Since joining, you’ve had the opportunity to work with teams around the world. What is the best part about working at Pizza Hut? What ultimately drew me to Pizza Hut was the investment the company makes in its people. Your team, your coach, leadership – everyone is committed to your growth and development – not just in what they say, but in the programs and tools Yum! uses. Our environment combines the best of both worlds: it’s fast-paced and challenging but places a lot of emphasis on people and personal development.
Speaking of development, you had the opportunity to work in Europe for two years. What did you take away from that experience? It was a tremendous experience living in Paris and London, both for me and my family. It was so impactful seeing the brand come to life overseas – from Portugal to Poland, Finland to Israel and everywhere in between – Pizza Hut is truly a well-known, global brand and it was a blast seeing that customer love across Europe!
What do you enjoy most about working with franchisees? I really enjoy visiting Pizza Hut restaurants and seeing firsthand just how much of an impact our franchisees have on their restaurant team members and in their communities. Our franchisees are entrepreneurs and small business owners and it’s great to help them support the communities they serve.
Switching gears a bit, do you have a favorite memory of Pizza Hut from your childhood? Saturday afternoons, my family and I would visit our favorite Pizza Hut on the corner of OH-161 and Sawmill Rd. (outside of Columbus, Ohio) and we’d enjoy the buffet.
It’s a Friday night, what are you planning to order from the $5 ‘N Up Lineup? Well first of all, who says you have to wait until Friday night to order Pizza Hut? But for me, its Pepperoni P’ZONE® – every time!
Any parting words to share? I’m truly grateful for the many opportunities Pizza Hut has given me – from Texas to Paris to London and back, it’s truly a company that invests in its people and gives them all sorts of opportunities to succeed. I’m lucky to get to work for such a great company full of wonderful people!