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Sami will replace the outgoing Tony Lowings and Dyke Shipp will be promoted to KFC division president.
Yum! Brands has announced the promotion of Sabir Sami to the KFC division CEO and will report to the Yum! Brands CEO, David Gibbs, from January 1, 2022. Sami is a 12-year veteran of the company and currently serves as the KFC division chief operating officer and managing director of KFC Asia and will succeed Tony Lowings who is stepping down at the end of 2021 and retiring in 2022. Sami’s responsibility will be to drive brand strategy and performance.
“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 Gibbs.
“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 addition to his role overseeing operations for the KFC division, he is also the managing director of KFC Asia. This high-growth region of the market (excluding China) comprises over 15 per cent of all KFC locations. Prior to these roles, Sami was the managing director for the Middle East, North Africa, Pakistan and Turkey markets where he was instrumental in growing the brand and establishing KFC as one the most R.E.D. brands in the region. Sami also served as general manager for KFC Turkey and Canada. Before joining Yum!, Sami held leadership roles with the likes of the Coca-Cola Company, Procter & Gamble and Reckitt Benckiser.
“I’m 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,” said Sami.
“KFC is uniquely positioned around the world as a well-loved, well-trusted brand with millions of fans – the future is certainly bright.”
Dyke Shipp currently serves as the KFC division chief development officer and chief people officer. He will be promoted to KFC division president, effective January 1, 2022, and will report to Sami. Shipp brings 30 years of experience and expertise to the role after successfully leading the brand’s development, people and culture strategies. Shipp will work with Sami on the brand’s global people and growth agenda as well as supporting general managers in the Americas.
“Dyke brings a wealth of knowledge, expertise and strategic acumen to this role, along with a commitment to nurturing an inclusive, high-performing culture,” said Sami.
“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.”
Tony Lowings has served KFC and Yum! Brands for 27 years, and has led the KFC brand since 2019. He has held a number of positions in his career, including chief operations officer of KFC division, managing director of KFC Asia-Pacific and managing director of KFC SOPAC (Australia and New Zealand) and many more.
“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.”
Lowings will assume his current position until 2022 to support a seamless transition, and will support the company during the first quarter of 2022 to further support the transition.
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