Sabir Sami promoted to KFC Division CEO; to replace Tony Lowings

In this role, Sami will assume global responsibility for driving the brand strategy and performance of KFC.
  • Nusra Deputy Features Editor
Sabir Sami

Yum! Brands yesterday announced the promotion of Sabir Sami, to KFC Division Chief Executive Officer.

Sabir will be 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 by adding that 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 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.

Prior to Yum!, Sami served in various leadership roles at Procter & Gamble, the Coca-Cola Company 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.

Dyke Shipp, 55, 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, 2022.

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.

KFC is the global leader in the chicken category and Yum!’s largest brand with more than 25,000 restaurants in over 145 countries and territories and more than $26 billion in system sales as of year-end 2020.