(Miss this week’s The Leadership Brief? This interview below was delivered to the inbox of Leadership Brief subscribers on Sunday morning, Dec. 6; to receive weekly emails of conversations with the world’s top CEOs and business decisionmakers, click here.)
On Nov. 23, CNN reported that the U.S. had 3 million new cases of COVID-19 in November. That same day, I interviewed Joey Wat, the CEO of Yum China, the country’s largest restaurant company. She mentioned that there were just a small handful of new cases in Shanghai, the world’s biggest city, with a population of over 25 million. Nearly 100% (99.5%) of Yum’s outlets in China are currently open.
Under Wat, 49, Yum China has emerged from COVID largely unscathed and cemented its reputation as one of the world’s most nimble fast-food companies. Yum China operates over 10,000 restaurants in 1,400 cities in China, a mixture of Pizza