Micky Pant, who had helped guide Yum! Brands Inc.’s restaurants in China from a company division to an independent franchisee, is stepping down as CEO of the company effective March 1, the company said on Thursday.
Joey Wat, the company’s president and chief operating officer, will then become CEO.
Pant will remain with the company as vice chairman and senior advisor.
“We are exceptionally grateful to Micky for leading the company through its spinoff and building a solid foundation as an independent company,” Fred Hu, Yum China’s chairman, said in a statement.
The announcement came one year after Yum China spun off from Yum Brands, the Louisville-based operator of KFC, Pizza Hut and Taco Bell. Pant before that had been the CEO of Yum Restaurants China. Yum China operates 7,747 locations, nearly all of them KFC and Pizza Hut.
Wat has been president and COO of Yum China since February and was appointed to the board in July. She joined the company in 2014, first as president of KFC China and then CEO of KFC China.
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