KFC’s parent company, Yum! Brands Inc. announced on September 22 that Sabir Sami has been named the next chief executive officer of the KFC Division starting in 2022. In his new role, Sami will assume global responsibility for driving the brand strategy and performance of KFC. He will succeed Tony Lowings, who has been with Yum! Brands and KFC for 27 years. Lowings will step down as CEO at the end of 2021 in advance of his retirement in early 2022.
Sami has been working for 12 years with the fast-food chain and is currently assuming the role of the chief operating officer (COO) and managing director of KFC Asia, a high-growth region representing 17 markets (excluding China) which comprises more than 15 percent of all KFC Division restaurants.
Before this, Sami was Managing Director for the Middle East, North Africa, Pakistan, and Turkey markets, where he succeeded in growing the business and establishing KFC as one of the region’s most R.E.D. brands. Prior to Yum!, Sami had assumed leadership roles at Procter & Gamble, the Coca-Cola Company, and Reckitt Benckiser.
In a statement regarding Sami’s promotion, David Gibbs, CEO of Yum! said, “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.”
“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.”
“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 as reported in Business WIre. “KFC is uniquely positioned around the world as a well-loved, well-trusted brand with millions of fans – the future is certainly bright.”