NEW YORK — Yum Brands announced a CEO succession plan on Thursday, with the head of its Taco Bell chain set to ascend to the top spot next year.

The company, which also owns KFC and Pizza Hut, says Greg Creed will become CEO Jan. 1, 2015. Creed replaces David Novak, who has served in the top spot since 1999. Creed is credited with the rollout of Taco Bell’s popular Doritos Locos Tacos, which has helped boost the struggling chain’s image and sales.

Novak, 61, will become executive chairman.

The company, based in Louisville, will also form an Office of the Chairman that includes Novak, Creed and Sam Su, the 62-year-old head of the company’s important China division.