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Yum Brands promotes Sabir Sami to KFC Division chief executive

Dyke Shipp promoted to KFC Division president; promotions take effect January 1

Yum Brands is promoting Sabir Sami to KFC Division chief executive, effective January 1, 2022, replacing Tony Lowings, who is retiring from his post at the end of the year. Sami serves as KFC Division chief operating officer and managing director of KFC Asia. Dyke Shipp, is being promoted to KFC Division president, also effective January 1, from his current position as KFC Division chief development officer and chief people officer.

Sami will continue to serve as managing director of KFC Asia, a 17-markets high growth territory, excluding China, representing more than 15 percent of all KFC Division restaurants. Prior to this concurrent role with his KFC Division chief operating officer position, Sami held the post of managing director for the Middle East, North Africa, Pakistan and Turkey markets. Sami also served as general manager for the KFC Canada and Turkey businesses. Prior to Yum, Sami held leadership roles at Procter & Gamble, the Coca-Cola Company and Reckitt Benckiser.

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“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,” said David Gibbs, Yum Brands chief executive. “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.”

A veteran of Yum Brands for more than three decades, Shipp has built multifaceted talents leading KFC’s development and people and culture strategies. In his new KFC Division president role, Shipp will partner with Sami, to whom he will report, on KFC’s global people and growth agenda, while supporting the general managers of its businesses in the Americas, including Canada, the United States, and Latin America and the Caribbean.

Lowings has worked with Yum Brands for 27 years, and he has led the KFC brand since 2019. He previously served in top leadership positions, including president and chief operations officer of KFC Division, managing director of KFC Asia-Pacific and managing director of KFC SOPAC (Australia and New Zealand), and more.

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“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. “Tony’s unwavering focus on ensuring restaurant excellence, building a R.E.D., Always Original brand and winning on KFC’s delicious taste and quality will leave a long and lasting imprint on our company. While we will miss Tony, we wish him well as he enjoys this new phase of life with his family.”

Sami will report to Gibbs. Lowings remains KFC Division CEO through the end of 2021 for transition purposes. He will serve in another capacity supporting transition needs into the first quarter of 2022 with Yum Brands prior to full retirement.

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