McDonald's Board of Directors has elected current President and Chief Operating Officer <link http: www.blackentrepreneurprofile.com profile-full article don-thompson _top external-link-new-window external link in new>Don Thompson as CEO, effective July 1, 2012. Mr. Thompson will replace Vice Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Jim Skinner who has informed the Board of Directors of his decision to retire after 41 years with the Company, effective June 30, 2012.
Mr. Thompson becomes the the first black CEO to head McDonald's since it was founded in 1955, and the 13th black person to ever head a Fortune 500 company. There are now seven current serving black CEOâ€™s of Fortune 500 companies.
"I'm honored by the Board's election," said Thompson. "Jim has been an outstanding leader, mentor and friend. I'm humbled to take the baton as CEO of McDonald's. Our management team is strong and will remain focused on the Plan to Win and on our three global priorities -- optimizing the menu, modernizing the customer experience and broadening our accessibility to even more customers. Our franchisees, suppliers and employees are committed to ensuring that McDonald's is our customers' favorite way and place to eat and drink."
Thompson, 48, became President and COO of McDonald's in January 2010. In this capacity, he has directed global strategy and operations for more than 33,000 McDonald's restaurants in 119 countries. Previously, he served as President of McDonald's USA from 2006 until 2010. In that role, he was responsible for the strategic direction and positive business results of the nearly 14,000 restaurants in the U.S.
As a 22-year veteran of McDonald's, Thompson began as an electrical engineer in 1990. Since then, he has held a variety of leadership positions in the U.S. business and global system. In addition to serving on McDonald's Board of Directors, Thompson is a member of the Board of Directors of Exelon Corporation and Northwestern Memorial Hospital. He also is a Trustee of his alma mater, Purdue University.