New KFC CEO a 'natural choice' for the role

New man at the helm of fast food brand says he is 'incredibly privileged and excited' to work with other executives

New KFC CEO a 'natural choice' for the role

Sabir Sami has been named as the new chief executive officer of KFC, replacing outgoing CEO Tony Lowings. Sami is a 12-year veteran of the fast-food chain and is currently serving as its chief operating officer (COO) and managing director of KFC Asia. Sami's promotion will make him responsible for the company's brand strategy and performance across the globe. He’ll report directly to David Gibbs, CEO of Yum! Brands Inc, which is the operator of the fast-food chain.

Gibbs said Sami is the "natural choice" for the role, given his deep expertise and knowledge in the business.

"Sabir is an exceptional leader with deep expertise and knowledge of our business and has a strong, proven track record of growing KFC’s physical and brand presence in markets around the world," Gibbs commented. "As a highly-respected strategic brand builder, operations expert and heart-led leader, Sabir is a natural choice to continue successfully executing KFC’s long-term global growth strategies in close partnership with our franchisees and further elevate KFC as a relevant, easy, and distinctive brand."

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Sami said he is "incredibly privileged and excited" to work with other executives in the company and is also looking forward to accelerating the company's brand.

"KFC is uniquely positioned around the world as a well-loved, well-trusted brand with millions of fans - the future is certainly bright," he added.

Prior to his stint as COO and managing director of KFC Asia, Sami also served as managing director for the Middle East, North Africa, Pakistan, and Turkey markets. He was also the general manager for the KFC Canada and Turkey businesses. He will be replacing Tony Lowings, who has been with Yum! Brands and KFC for 27 years. The outgoing KFC CEO will be stepping down at the end of the year ahead of his retirement in 2022.

"I want to thank Tony, a trusted colleague and dear friend to many, for his decades of service, commitment to excellence and significant contributions to our business," said Gibbs. "While we will miss Tony, we wish him well as he enjoys this new phase of life with his family."

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Meanwhile, 55-year-old Dyke Shipp has also been promoted to KFC Division president starting next year. He is currently KFC's chief development officer and chief people officer. He is expected to report to Sami on his new role.

"Dyke is a seasoned leader with a strong track record of delivering impactful results. I look forward to partnering with Dyke as we work toward the next chapter of growth for KFC," Sami said.

KFC is one of Yum!'s leading brand with over 25,000 restaurants in more than 145 countries and territories. Yum! is also the operator behind Pizza Hut and Taco Bell.

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