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Shares in McDonald’s fell 0.5% following the news that Chief Executive Jim Skinner is to retire after almost 41 years with the world’s largest fast food chain.
LONDON, UK – Shares in McDonald’s are down 0.5 percent after the company announced its chief executive, Jim Skinner, was retiring after almost a decade at the top of the world’s biggest fast food chain.
Skinner, 67, started at the firm as a store manager 41 years ago, and spent nearly eight years as chief executive, the BBC reports. He will also retire from the board of McDonald’s, of which he is vice chairman.
Chief operating officer Don Thompson is to replace Skinner in June, becoming the first African-American to run the company.
He has been at McDonald’s for 22 years, most recently running its international operations. The company has yet to decide who will fill the COO position.
According to Reuters, McDonald’s shares have more than tripled since Skinner took over at the helm in November 2004.
As one of the brains behind the company’s “Plan to Win” program, he revamped its restaurants and expanded its menu, turning around a company that was suffering from overexpansion in the US at the time, The Wall Street Journal reports.
It now has more than 33,000 branches in 119 countries, and serves more than 68 million customers around the world every day. The company plans to spend $2.9 billion this year opening 1,300 new restaurants and remodelling 2,400, according to Bloomberg.
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In a statement, McDonald’s board of directors said: “Jim’s stellar leadership has driven unprecedented momentum at McDonald’s.”
“Total shareholder return was 21 percent during Jim’s tenure as CEO, and market capitalization surpassed $100 billion for the first time in the company’s history,” it added, according to Sky News.
Recently, Skinner has called for a cut in corporation tax and lower government spending to cement the US recovery, The Daily Telegraph reports.
Late last year, he said: “The question is, how can we get the ox out of the ditch? In order to create jobs in America, you’re going to have to cut taxes, particularly in the business community.”
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