CEO, Yum China Holdings, 47
Wat became CEO of China’s largest restaurant company in March. The $7.1 billion company that operates over 8,100 KFCs, Pizza Huts and Taco Bells across China—it also owns two fast-concept Chinese chains—was spun off from U.S.-based Yum! Brands in November 2016. Wat, a former McKinsey consultant who spent a decade in the U.K. with the international health and beauty retailer A.S. Watson, faces toughening conditions; while Yum China posted revenue growth in the first half of 2018, Pizza Hut, which accounts for 20% of the company’s profit, is struggling. Meanwhile, consumer spending is cooling, as is taste for fast American fare in the country. A consortium of private investors recently abandoned a takeover pursuit of Yum China after their initial proposal had been rebuffed, reportedly because of the worsening environment and risks of a trade war. As of August 30, Yum China’s market value has fallen 26% since Wat took charge.