Yum! Brands Inc. continues its strong focus on growth in China and has promoted Sam Su, 58, chairman and CEO for Yum! Brands China Division to lead those efforts. Su, previously president of Yum! China Division, will maintain his position as vice chairman, Yum! Brands, board of directors.
"Sam Su is a world class pioneer achieving breakthrough results for Yum! Brands in China and is absolutely committed to driving long-term success," David C. Novak, Yum! Brands chairman and CEO, said in a news release. "He has a solid track record of delivering outstanding performance in our China division, which has grown operating profit from $20 million in 1998 to $600 million in 2009.
"Sam and his team have created sustainable competitive advantages for us through a strategic focus on growth and innovation. That is why Yum! China leads the way across the board, with best-in-class talent, operations, products and assets and is poised for a tremendous and successful future ahead in the world's largest growing economy."
The company also has promoted Mark Chu from chief development officer to president and COO of Yum! China, reporting to Su.
Chu will have oversight of all the brand teams for the China Division as well as the restaurant excellence and franchise development functions, while maintaining his oversight of the development and construction teams.
"Mark has been instrumental in growing our restaurant base in China to nearly 3,500 restaurants, last year adding a record 509 new units in Mainland China," Novak said. "His continued focus on growth, coupled with our tremendous store level operating capability, a world class infrastructure and the largest real estate and construction teams anywhere in the world, has given Yum! a huge competitive advantage, which he and Sam will only continue to build upon."
Yum! China Division led the company's growth for the most recent quarter, posting an increase in same-store sales of 4 percent and opening 96 stores in the country. The division operates across more than 650 cities in mainland China, with 3,544 restaurants including 2,950 KFC restaurants, 467 Pizza Hut casual dining restaurants and 102 Pizza Hut Home Service units.
The company plans to open a total of 500 new stores in the country this year.
Yum! China's accomplishments include:
- Created and currently testing East Dawning, a quick service restaurant concept serving Chinese food
- Purchased interest in Little Sheep, a leader in the 'hot pot' restaurant category primarily in China
- Opened a record 509 new units in 2009, including nearly one KFC every day
- Outpaces its nearest competitor, McDonald's, by more than 1,000 restaurants in China and is outpacing its development by a roughly 3:1
Recent studies indicate the middle class in mainland China is more than 300 million people, creating significant long-term demand for the company's brands and rapid new unit development. Each of Yum!'s brands has great momentum in China as the company continues its goal of at least 20,000 units over the long term in mainland China.