Media Moves and News

Coverage: McDonald’s names new head of U.S. business

September 1, 2016

Posted by Chris Roush

McDonalds logoMcDonald’s Corp. on Wednesday named a relative newcomer to the fast food restaurant company as the next head of its U.S. business, a change from its past promotions.

Candice Choi of the Associated Press had the news:

The Oak Brook, Illinois-based company said Wednesday that Mike Andres, who is 58 and stepped into his role in October 2014, will retire at the end of the year. He will be replaced effective Jan. 1 by Chris Kempczinski, 47, who joined the company last year from Kraft Heinz and is executive vice president of strategy, business development and innovation.

Kempczinski’s limited experience with McDonald’s marks a change for the company – the past three presidents of the U.S. business have been McDonald’s veterans.

The leadership change comes under CEO Steve Easterbrook, who took over last year and is trying to step up the image of McDonald’s burgers and fries while fending off a growing number of competitors. Easterbrook has vowed to cut costs and move more quickly to ensure McDonald’s is keeping pace with changing tastes and habits. McDonald’s Corp. said Wednesday that Lucy Brady will fill the role being vacated by Kempczinski, and noted that she has led several turnaround efforts at The Boston Consulting Group.

Samantha Bomkamp of the Chicago Tribune noted that the departing Andres had overseen a successful overhaul:

Andres, 58, is the second top executive to announce his departure this month. McDonald’s said Aug. 2 that Chief Administrative Officer Pete Bensen will retire after nearly 20 years with the company.

The departures are a sign that the rapid transformation at McDonald’s over the past 18 months is shifting into higher gear. McDonald’s has taken a number of steps to reinvent itself and jump-start its business over the past year and a half, but the gains have started to slow. Americans also are eating out less, compounding the slowdown. In quickly tapping a relative newcomer to the company to replace Andres, CEO Steve Easterbrook is showing his desire to bring fresh blood into a company that traditionally has promoted almost solely from within.

“Mike has done a great job to get this business back on track,” CEO Steve Easterbrook said in an interview Wednesday. “He has poured his heart and soul into this business, and cultivated some really strong relationships.”

Easterbrook said he’s confident the transformation will remain on track through the transition to a new U.S. boss.

Ezequiel Minaya of The Wall Street Journal reported that McDonald’s missed Wall Street expectations in the most recent quarter:

Even though the company has posted four consecutive quarters of positive sales at McDonald’s stores open at least a year, in the latest quarter the growth missed analysts’ expectations.

This is the second major organizational change announced this month by McDonald’s. Earlier this month, the company said Chief Administrative Officer Pete Bensen, 54, would retire on Sept. 2 after 20 years with McDonald’s.

On Wednesday, the burger chain also made a few other executive moves. Doug Goare, president of the international lead markets, will add the role of chief restaurant officer, overseeing some duties handled by the retiring Mr. Bensen. Lucy Brady, who joined McDonald’s in September, shifts into Mr. Kempczinski’s role.

Mr. Andres, meanwhile, had returned to McDonald’s in 2014 after serving as chief executive of Logan’s Roadhouse Inc. Before that, Mr. Andres previously headed McDonald’s central division in the U.S. and was chief executive and president of Boston Market when the chain was a McDonald’s subsidiary.

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