Yum! Brands Inc. announced it has reorganized its Yum! Restaurants International division (YRI) to continue to drive aggressive international expansion and build strong brands globally.

The company also announced that Micky Pant was promoted to chief executive officer of YRI, replacing Graham Allan who is retiring from the company early in 2012. Pant most recently served as president of YRI and Global Branding.

He now will report to David C. Novak, chairman and chief executive officer of Yum! Brands, Inc. At the same time, Yum! announced it will separate its India business from YRI, creating a standalone reporting division called Yum! Restaurants India. Niren Chaudhary was promoted to president of this division, reporting directly to Novak.

“The growth at Yum! Restaurants International during the past eight years under Graham Allan’s leadership has been stellar,” Novak says. “YRI is a global powerhouse, having opened more than 7,500 new restaurants and grown its system-wide sales from $8.4 billion to more than $15 billion during Graham’s tenure as CEO.

Graham Allan has established the strategies, structure, and people capability that have proven so successful to our international expansion. Over his 20-year career with YRI, he has made an outstanding and lasting impact on our company. While we certainly respect his personal decision to retire from YRI and return to the U.K. to be closer to his family, we thank him for his many significant contributions to setting our company up for continued future growth.

“At the same time, I’m very pleased Micky Pant has been promoted to CEO of YRI, ensuring a seamless transition in leadership. Micky is an exceptional strategic and conceptual thought leader, who has tremendous passion, energy, and commitment to building our business and satisfying our customers. He has also forged outstanding relationships with our franchisees and is a culture champion who has mentored and developed outstanding leaders across our company.”

Pant joined the company in 2005 as chief marketing officer, following senior-level marketing positions at Unilever plc, PepsiCo, and Reebok. He quickly rose through the YRI system following a series of successes, including the development of strategic global brand plans for KFC and Pizza Hut, the launch of KFC’s global “so good” campaign, and the introduction of international sales layers like Krushers and KFC A.M.

At Pizza Hut International, he provided a strategic framework for separating the dine-in and delivery businesses, including the introduction of PHD (Pizza Hut Delivery). Further, he has led the ongoing expansion of Taco Bell International while successfully overseeing seven international business units. The leaders of each of the company’s international business units, along with all YRI executive staff functions will now report directly to him, effective December 6.

“We have separated our India business from YRI to create a standalone reporting division to underscore the potential scale of this exciting emerging market for Yum! Brands,” Novak says. “There is clear evidence that we are at the same stage of development as we were in China at a similar juncture in its life cycle, and I’m confident we will turn India into a major growth engine for Yum! under Niren Chaudhary’s inspiring leadership.”

Chaudhary joined the company in 1994, overseeing KFC in the Netherlands and Germany. He took over the company’s India operations in 2007, following a successful track record. Since that time, he and his team have dramatically grown the business, with system sales up 42 percent year-to-date. He has adopted best operating and development processes from the company’s China division and applied those to India.

In 2010, the India business surpassed its 100th KFC, with strong unit growth and excellent unit margins. Pizza Hut in India is in 34 cities with 175 restaurants. Chaudhary and his team have established a highly successful business model to accelerate aggressive future growth.

“These changes to our YRI organizational structure will make us an even stronger company. We are still clearly on the ground floor of global growth, and I am confident we are putting our best leaders in place to deliver superior results,” Novak says.

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