If the idea of launching an e-commerce business sounds daunting, try launching TWO of them! That’s exactly what May Pan, Head of Digital for Pizza Hut UK & Ireland, will have done come next month since joining Pizza Hut four short years ago. As PizzaHut continues to expand, our digital strategy has increasingly focused on supporting international locations and keeping up with the demands of an ever more social and digital fan base. May’s passion for digital and business savvy approach have blazed a trail in this area in both our Canadian and UK & Ireland markets. May was kind enough to spend a few minutes with us talking about everything from her love for comic books to the work she’s most proud of having done at Pizza Hut.
Let’s start with the nuts and bolts. You were born in Taipei and grew up in Canada. How did you end up in London?
I initially joined Yum! (Pizza Hut’s parent company) with KFC in Canada with the hopes of further developing my traditional marketing skill set. During my time there, my coach recognized my genuine passion for digital and gave me the opportunity to move into a Pizza Hut Digital Marketing role. That is when my career really took off. It was the perfect marriage of passion and business. In February 2013, I was privileged to do a four-month short-term assignment working for the Pizza Hut Latin America & Caribbean team. When I returned to Canada, I was given responsibility for all things digital (e-commerce, Customer Relationship Management, and Social Media), which ultimately led to my current, and permanent, international move to the UK & Ireland business.
As your career has progressed, what are you most proud of that you’ve work on at Pizza Hut?
Come May 2015, I will have helped two Pizza Hut markets (Canada and the UK & Ireland) re-launch their e-commerce businesses. Also launching the Pizza Hut perfume in Canada which eventually got so viral that all our markets around the world launched it for Valentine’s Day!
What’s some advice you wish you could have given yourself when you first started your career?
Walk the talk of the role you want to get. Don’t wait for the promotion to come to you, chase it down!
What do you like most about working for Pizza Hut?
Pizza Hut has an incredible culture. As an employee that has worked in three different Pizza Hut offices around the world, I can honestly say that the culture is the same, and amazing, everywhere!
What’s your favorite Pizza Hut product?
I have to say Pan Pizza. Coincidentally, that’s also my softball jersey name: “Pan Pizza.” Get it?
What’s the last thing you googled?
“Best speakeasies in London.” Secret bars with awesome drinks? I’m so there! Get me a nice Old Fashioned and I’m in heaven.
So other than seeking out London’s most elusive unmarked bars, what else do you do for fun?
I’m a huge (nerd) superhero/comic book fan, I love baseball, travelling, and SEAFOOD. Music festivals and concerts are my escape.
After your various stints around the Pizza Hut world, where is your favorite place to visit?
I feel like I haven’t traveled enough to answer that yet…but that will change now that I’m living in London. So far, my favorite place is Tokyo, but I’m flying to Sicily on Friday…so Tokyo might get booted out of the #1 spot.
What’s next for you? What are your goals for the next five years?
Digital continues to be a passion of mine and is increasingly important in our International markets. In five years, I anticipate more Chief Digital Officer positions will exist and my aim is to be one of them. In which country? That’s the exciting part!