Yum China Holdings announced Oct. 5 that its Chief Executive Officer, Micky Pant, will transition to the roles of Vice Chairman of the Board and Senior Advisor to the Company. Joey Wat, who currently serves as President and Chief Operating Officer of the Company, will succeed Mr. Pant as Chief Executive Officer of Yum China. The succession plan will take effect on March 1, 2018.
Mr. Pant has served as CEO and a member of the Board of Directors of Yum China since its spin-off from Yum! Brands, Inc. and, prior to that, served as CEO of Yum! Restaurants China, a division of YUM. "We are exceptionally grateful to Micky for leading the Company through its spin-off and building a solid foundation as an independent company," said Dr. Fred Hu, 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 Advisor in order to ensure a seamless transition to Joey."
"Joey is an extraordinarily talented executive and the ideal leader to become our next CEO," said Dr. Hu. "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," said Mr. Pant.
Ms. Wat has served as the President and Chief Operating Officer of Yum China since February 2017 and she was appointed as a member of the Yum China Board in July 2017. Ms. Wat joined Yum China in September 2014, first serving as President of KFC China and she was then promoted to Chief Executive Officer of KFC China in August 2015. Prior to that, Ms. Wat served in both management and strategy positions at AS Watson of Hutchison Group ("Watson") in the U.K. from 2004 to 2014, including as Managing Director of Watson U.K., which operates Superdrug and Savers. Before joining Watson, Ms. Wat spent seven years in management consulting, including with McKinsey & Company's Hong Kong office from 2000 to 2003.