Sixty Six years old QSR giant, McDonald’s CEO Don Thompson is stepping down as the world’s biggest hamburger chain fights to hold onto customers and transform its image. McDonald’s Corp., which has more than 36,000 locations around the world, is struggling amid intensifying competition and changing attitudes about food. Customer traffic at established locations in the U.S. fell 4.1 percent last year, following a 1.6 percent decline in 2013. It’s also trying to recover after a supplier scandal in China that damaged its reputation.
Steve Easterbrook, 48, the company’s chief brand officer, will replace Don Thompson, 51, the current CEO and a 25-year McDonald’s veteran, effective March 1. Thompson also gives up his board seat and Easterbrook gets one.
Interestingly, once the news is spread, Investors cheered since McDonald’s stock jumped 3.4% in after-hours trading following the news.
In announcing his retirement, Thompson said, in a statement: “It’s tough to say goodbye to the McFamily, but there is a time and season for everything. I am truly confident as I pass the reins over to Steve, that he will continue to move our business and brand forward.”