Yum China appoints next CEO

by Rebekah Schouten
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Micky
Micky Pant, CEO of Yum China, will step down from his role on March 1, 2018. 
 
SHANGHAI — Micky Pant, CEO of Yum China Holdings Inc., will step down from his role on March 1, 2018, and transition to the roles of vice-chairman of the board and senior adviser to the company. Joey Wat, current president and COO of Yum China, will take the helm as CEO at that time.

Pant has been CEO and a member of the board of directors of Yum China since its spin-off from Yum! Brands Inc., which was completed last November. Before the spin-off, he was CEO of Yum! Restaurants China, a division of Yum! Brands.

“We are exceptionally grateful to Micky for leading the company through its spin-off and building a solid foundation as an independent company,” said Fred Hu, Ph.D., chairman of the board. “We thank Micky for his many significant contributions and are pleased that he will be Vice Chairman of the Board and will also continue to serve the company as its senior adviser in order to ensure a seamless transition to Joey.”

Joey
Joey Wat, president and COO of Yum China, will succeed Pant as CEO in March. 
 
Wat has been president and COO of Yum China since February and was appointed as a member of the Yum China board in July. She first joined Yum China in September 2014 as president of KFC China and was promoted to CEO of KFC China in August 2015. Prior to that, Wat held management and strategy positions at AS Watson of Hutchison Group in the UK from 2004 to 2014, including as managing director of Watson UK, which operates Superdrug and Savers. Before joining Watson, Wat spent seven years in management consulting, including with McKinsey & Co.’s Hong Kong office from 2000 to 2003.

“Joey is an extraordinarily talented executive and the ideal leader to become our next CEO,” Hu said. “Joey has a strong track record of achieving results, and with her unique ability to translate vision and strategy into future world-class operations, I have no doubt that the Yum China business will continue to grow under her strong leadership. Leveraging the unprecedented growth opportunity that China presents, the board and the Yum China team are confident that she is the best person to take the company to its next level.” 

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