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Yum China Announces New Replacement for CEO

Yum China Holdings, Inc. announced Thursday that COO Joey Wat will replace Micky Pant as chief executive officer on March 1, 2018. Pant will move to be vice chairman of the firm’s board of directors as well as a senior advisor.

Having been part of Yum China since 2014, Ms. Wat served as president and chief operating officer of the new firm, Yum China, since February 2017, She was appointed in July as a member of the board for Yum China, which operates 4,700 restaurants.  She first served as president of KFC China and was promoted to chief executive officer of KFC China in August 2015.  Prior to that, she served in management and strategy positions from 2004 to 2014 at AS Watson, part of the Hutchison Group in the U.K., including as Managing Director of Watson U.K., which operates Superdrug and Savers. Before joining Watson, Wat spent seven years in management consulting, including with McKinsey & Company's Hong Kong office from 2000 to 2003.

The company anticipates the continued rise of a new generation of younger consumers who are digitally sophisticated and brand driven to fuel consumption growth in China.

Pant has served as Yum China’s CEO and director on its board since its spin-off a year ago.

“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, chairman of the board about the company’s leadership succession plan and Pant’s role.

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Don Sniegowski is editor of Blue MauMau, the daily news journal for franchise & small business owners. Call him at +1 (270) 321-1268, tweet @bluemaumau or email