An Interview with CSO Steven Antoine


The Great Conversation interviewed Steven Antoine, the Chief Security Officer and Director of Global Assets Protection for Yum! Brands, Inc., a world leading franchisor and Fortune 500 company.

Steven spent 15 years in the U.S. State Department before joining Yum! Brands.

Steven attended the last Great Conversation in March 2018. Since that time, we have been working with him (or should we say “for him”) to bring the peer to peer executive forum to their Center for Restaurant Excellence in Plano, Texas.

Why do we need a Great Conversation in Security?

Thought leadership. You are in a room where the conversation is askew from the normal conversations we tend to have. It is a space where people can be creative; hear ideas and explore avenues that may not be comfortable or safe but, because we are all being transparent under Chatham House rules, it becomes energizing.

The bottom line: The Great Conversation allows you to be comfortable with being uncomfortable.

Many of our executives leave the conference with ‘learnings’ that they activate when they return to their organization. What was yours?

I found validation and confidence in my direction. For some time, I have been on a mission to redefine the terms and understanding of ‘security’.

For example: here are some traditional notions or terms we use in our profession everyday and my alternative rendering to my organizational leaders and my team:

  • Safety=Prevention, guards and policy. What if we redefined this to mean the absence of acceptable risk?

  • Risk=Danger, geo-politics, violence and hardship. But what if we redefined this as constraints and obstruction to strategic objectives?

  • Loss=Theft and/or slippage. What if we redefined this as an efficiency metric where time, money and opportunity are the measures of performance?

All our professional domains are evolving along with the risk and business landscape. If we stay in our silos, we have a hard time seeing the whole picture. Then you add the technology domain that is digitally transforming our organizations and it becomes an imperative. Tapping into all these ‘silos’ creates a force multiplier in understanding, perspective, knowledge and wisdom.

Why did you decide to host The Great Conversation in Security in Plano, Texas within your facility?

Yum! Brands appears to be a franchisor of fast food brands like Kentucky Fried Chicken and Pizza Hut. That is true. But there is so much more. We have become an information management company. We are being digitally transformed. It is essential that we transform risk, resilience and security within this evolving business landscape.

As well, I am a member of a profession. All the security professionals should be lending their voice to our community. For me, I am selfish. I wanted to help drive the conversation. What better way to do that then to help host it!

You are right! Not only are you hosting it, but your CEO felt compelled to kick off the day with a keynote of his own. What can we expect from him?

Without ruining the surprise, let me ask you a question: “What does every CSO want out of his CEO?” I think you will have an answer on May 21.