Posted on January 29, 2015

McDonald’s CEO Don Thompson Steps Aside, Stock Jumps

Katie Little, CNBC, January 28, 2015

Amid a tumultuous past year for McDonald’s, the world’s biggest restaurant chain’s CEO Don Thompson is retiring after two years on the job, effective March 1. The fast food is also getting a new CFO.


The restaurant’s Senior Executive Vice President and Chief Brand Officer Steve Easterbrook will replace Thompson, who is a 25-year veteran of the company, the company announced on Wednesday.

Previously, Easterbrook served as president of McDonald’s Europe and led the chain’s “efforts to elevate its marketing, advance menu innovation, and create an infrastructure for its digital initiatives,” it said in a release. The company’s CFO Pete Bensen will also transition to the role of chief administrative officer while Kevin Ozan, the company’s current corporate controller, will become the chain’s new CFO.


Following the CEO departure news, the company’s stock ticked up 3 percent. [Ed: The stock has climbed 5 percent as of the closing bell.]


McDonald’s stock is nearly flat during Thompson’s tenure as CEO, compared to a 33 percent surge in the Dow and a 47 percent jump in the S&P 500.

In fiscal year 2014, global comparable sales growth, a key restaurant industry metric, dropped 1 percent, and its U.S. unit delivered a 2.1 percent decrease in comps. In fiscal year 2013, global comparable sales growth, a key restaurant industry metric, rose just 0.2 percent.