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Yum Brands announced the promotion of Vipul Chawla to president of Pizza Hut International, stepping up from his post as managing director of Pizza Hut Asia Pacific.

During his time in the Asia Pacific role, Chawla led Pizza Hut’s largest business outside the US in terms of units, almost 5,000 franchise restaurants across 16 markets. He was also general manager of Pizza Hut Asia and held a chief marketer role in KFC Asia. Before he joined Yum In 2011, he’d spent 20 years at Unilever across various leadership positions.

In his new role, Chawla has oversight of the brand strategy and performance of the pizza chain’s 17,000 restaurants in 100 countries. That global system had driven more than $12bn in sales as of year-end 2017.

Creed said in a statement: “He’s the ideal person to take Pizza Hut International to the next level by ensuring that each market has strong operations and digital execution in place, offers compelling value and consistently communicates the brand positioning. I’m confident Vipul and his team are well positioned for a seamless transition and will continue to build on the strengths of Pizza Hut with our franchisees.”

Chawla has succeeded Milind Pant, who has served as Pizza Hut International president three years. Pant decided to step down at the end of November to pursue outside opportunities.

Creed added of Pant: “I want to thank Milind Pant for his strong leadership, passion and contributions to Pizza Hut and Yum Brands over the past decade and wish him continued success on his future endeavors.”