Yum China gets new leadership as activists push for spinoff

Tue Aug 18, 2015 7:43pm EDT
Email This Article |
Share This Article
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
| Print This Article | Single Page
[-] Text [+]

By Lisa Baertlein

(Reuters) - Yum Brands Inc (YUM.N: Quote) announced on Tuesday new leadership for its China division as investor activists lobby for the owner of the KFC and Pizza Hut brands to spin off that business, which is its biggest driver of revenue and profit.

Shares of Yum rose 2.2 percent to $86.06 in extended trading.

Yum said company veteran Micky Pant, 60, would replace retiring Sam Su, 63, as chief executive of the China division.

Su, who has been with Yum for 26 years, was instrumental in making Yum the biggest Western restaurant chain in China.

Pant, currently CEO of Yum's KFC Division, will become CEO of Yum China on Wednesday.

At the end of the second quarter, KFCs accounted for 4,889 of Yum's 6,853 China restaurants.

Yum spokesman Jonathan Blum declined comment on growing Wall Street speculation that the company would spin off its China operations. Asked if the China changes were in preparation for such a move, Blum said, "No."

Su will serve as an executive adviser through February 2016 and remain on Yum's board to assist with the transition.   Continued...

A man walks past a logo of KFC, outside a restaurant in Shanghai, China, July 30, 2015. REUTERS/Aly Song