Who is New McDonald's CEO Steve Easterbrook?

- Leadership - Jan 30, 2015

McDonald's, the world’s largest fast food chain, has announced that Don Thompson will retire as President and Chief Executive Officer after nearly 25 years of service to the company, with Chief Brand Officer Steve Easterbrook to replace him as President and CEO.

British-born Easterbrook, 48, has been reported as a key figure in turning around the fortunes of the UK business, chiefly by a strong refocus on burgers and changing consumer opinion on the brand.

READ MORE: [Infographic] How Big is McDonald's?

"Steve is a strong and experienced executive who successfully led our UK and European business units and the Board is confident that he can effectively lead the Company to improved financial and operational performance," said Andrew McKenna, non-executive Chairman of the Board of Directors.

Prior to this promotion, Easterbrook was Senior Executive Vice President and Chief Brand Officer, leading McDonald's efforts to elevate its marketing, advance menu innovation, and create an infrastructure for its digital initiatives.

An accomplished, McDonald's veteran, Easterbrook previously served in key leadership roles across the company's global business, including president of McDonald's Europe.

He began with McDonald’s in 1993 as a Financial Reporting Manager in London and went on to numerous restaurant and operations roles. 

Easterbrook is also a lover of cricket, and someone considered humerous and a stickler for simplicity. He has also ran other restaurant chains, including Pizza Express and Wagamama.

Franchisees have already been interviewed about how they wish to see McDonald’s going forward, with cutting back a huge menu and focusing on burgers and fries among their ideas. This bodes well given Easterbrook’s work in the UK and elsewhere in Europe.

Easterbrook grew up on the outskirts of London and studied natural sciences at the University of Durham, where he was close to pursuing a career in cricket and accounting.

Don Thompson stood down after a difficult period which saw a decline in sales. 

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