Starting January 1, Sabir Sami will assume global responsibility for driving the brand strategy and performance of KFC.
Sabir Sami was promoted to KFC Division Chief Executive Officer, reporting to Yum! Brands Chief Executive Officer David Gibbs, effective January 1, 2022.
Sami, a 12-year veteran of the Company, who currently serves as KFC Division Chief Operating Officer and Managing Director of KFC Asia, will succeed Tony Lowings, who is stepping down as CEO at the end of 2021 in advance of his retirement in early 2022. In this role, Sami will assume global responsibility for driving the brand strategy and performance of KFC.
“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 overseeing operational strategy for all KFC markets, Sami dually serves as Managing Director of KFC Asia, a high-growth region for the brand representing 17 markets, excluding China, and comprising more than 15 percent of all KFC Division restaurants. Prior to this, Sami was Managing Director for the Middle East, North Africa, Pakistan and Turkey markets, where he was instrumental in growing the business and establishing KFC as one of the region’s most R.E.D. brands. Sami also served as General Manager for the KFC Canada and Turkey businesses. Prior to Yum!, Sami served in various leadership roles at Procter & Gamble, the Coca-Cola Company and Reckitt Benckiser.
Dyke Shipp, who currently serves as KFC Division Chief Development Officer and Chief People Officer, is being promoted to KFC Division President, reporting to Sami, effective January 1. Shipp brings over 30 years of experience with the Company and expertise successfully leading KFC’s development and people and culture strategies. In this role, Shipp will partner with Sami on KFC’s global people and growth agenda and support the General Managers of its businesses in the Americas, including Canada, the U.S. and Latin America and the Caribbean.
Lowings remains KFC Division CEO through the end of 2021 to ensure a smooth and seamless transition. He will remain with the Company in another capacity supporting transition needs into the first quarter of 2022.