Micky Pant, Yum China
Micky Pant, c.e.o. of Yum China, will step down from his role on March 1, 2018.

SHANGHAI — Micky Pant, chief executive officer of Yum China Holdings, Inc., will step down from his role on March 1, 2018, and transition to the roles of vice-chairman of the board and senior adviser to the company. Joey Wat, current president and chief operating officer of Yum China, will take the helm as c.e.o. at that time.

Mr. Pant has been c.e.o. and a member of the board of directors of Yum China since its spin-off from Yum! Brands, Inc., which was completed last November. Before the spin-off, he was c.e.o. of Yum! Restaurants China, a division of Yum! Brands.

“We are exceptionally grateful to Micky for leading the company through its spin-off and building a solid foundation as an independent company,” said Fred Hu, Ph.D., chairman of the board. “We thank Micky for his many significant contributions and are pleased that he will be Vice Chairman of the Board and will also continue to serve the company as its senior adviser in order to ensure a seamless transition to Joey.”

Joey Wat, Yum China
Joey Wat, president and c.o.o. of Yum China, will succeed Mr. Pant as c.e.o. in March. 

Ms. Wat has been president and c.o.o. of Yum China since February and was appointed as a member of the Yum China board in July. She first joined Yum China in September 2014 as president of KFC China and was promoted to c.e.o. of KFC China in August 2015. Prior to that, Ms. Wat held management and strategy positions at AS Watson of Hutchison Group in the U.K. from 2004 to 2014, including as managing director of Watson U.K., which operates Superdrug and Savers. Before joining Watson, Ms. Wat spent seven years in management consulting, including with McKinsey & Co.’s Hong Kong office from 2000 to 2003.

“Joey is an extraordinarily talented executive and the ideal leader to become our next c.e.o.,” Dr. Hu said. “Joey has a strong track record of achieving results, and with her unique ability to translate vision and strategy into future world-class operations, I have no doubt that the Yum China business will continue to grow under her strong leadership. Leveraging the unprecedented growth opportunity that China presents, the board and the Yum China team are confident that she is the best person to take the company to its next level.”