Yum Brands announced Wednesday the promotion of Sabir Sami — who currently serves as KFC Division Global COO and managing director of KFC Asia — to KFC Division CEO, effective Jan. 1, 2022. Sami will be replacing current KFC CEO Tony Lowings, who is retiring at the end of the year. Additionally, KFC’s current chief development officer, Dyke Shipp, will be promoted to KFC Division president.
Sami has been with Yum Brands for 12 years and has held a number of positions, including General Manager of KFC restaurants in the Middle East and North Africa. He has held his current role of the brand’s Global COO/Asia Managing Director since Jan. 2020, where he helps oversee 17 markets in the area.
“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,” Yum Brands CEO David Gibbs said in a statement. “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 (R.E.D.) brand.”
In his new role, Sami will be responsible for driving the brand strategy and performance of KFC around the globe.
“I am incredibly privileged and excited to continue working with our talented and dedicated KFC leaders and amazing franchise partners around the world to keep strengthening and accelerating the development of our powerful, iconic brand,” Sami said in a statement. “KFC is uniquely positioned around the world as a well-loved, well-trusted brand with millions of fans – the future is certainly bright.”
Lowings will remain KFC Division CEO through the end of the year as the team transitions to new leadership. He will remain with Yum Brands in a different transitional position in the first quarter of 2022.
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