The CEO of China's largest restaurant group didn't always work in food retail, let alone the retail industry.
More than a decade ago, Joey Wat at Yum China, was given the chance to take on a massive career challenge that had a high risk of failure — and her decision led Wat into the role she has now.
Rewind to the mid-2000s: Wat had just spent seven years in management consulting and had been promoted to head of strategy at Watson in Europe. Today, A.S. Watson Group is seen as the world's largest international health and beauty retailer, but back in the 2000s, one of its brands was showing signs of struggle: Savers — and Wat had been offered an opportunity to help rescue it.
"Most of the stores were not making money — a very significant portion, and there was an opportunity for me to take this role, but it was very challenging," Joey Wat, CEO of Yum China, said when speaking to CNBC's Akiko Fujita last month.
"To be honest, the failure rate could be quite high. If I made the change from my strategy role to the managing director role of this health and beauty business, I could fail."