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Fenton, a 39-year veteran of McDonald's, will replace Don Thompson, who will become chief executive of the world's largest restaurant chain when Jim Skinner retires in the summer.
McDonald's will promote Tim Fenton to the position of chief operating officer, replacing Don Thompson who is becoming chief executive of the global fast-food giant.
According to Reuters, the role of chief operating officer at McDonald's is traditionally seen as a proving ground for candidates for the top post at the company.
Fenton, 54, is currently the head of McDonald's business in the Asia Pacific, Middle East and Africa regions. He will fill the vacancy left by Thompson, who will replace retiring chief executive Jim Skinner on July 1, the Wall Street Journal reported.
Fenton, who has also held senior roles in Europe and the United States, has been elected to the company's board of directors.
The 39-year veteran of the world's largest restaurant chain began his career with McDonald's in 1973 as a crew member at a restaurant in Utica, New York, according to the Associated Press.
Fenton will be responsible for McDonald's more than 33,500 restaurants around the world, the company said in a statement on Marketwire.
"Tim is one of our most seasoned global leaders and has done a remarkable job growing our international business," Skinner said in the statement.