MCDONALD'S ANNOUNCES LAYOFFS, CORPORATE RESTRUCTURING

700 Positions to be Eliminated; New Emphasis on 'Customer Experience'

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CHICAGO (AdAge.com) -- After much speculation, McDonald's Corp., Oak Brook, Ill., today said it would cut 500 to 700 field and home office positions, reduce the number of U.S. regions to 21 from 37, and reorganize its ranks.

Responding to mounting criticism over slow service, the world's largest fast-food chain also announced multiple operational efforts to improve what it calls the "customer experience."

As part of the changes, McDonald's has created four new senior management posts. Jeff Stratton will now be chief restaurant officer from president of the West division. Sue Warzecka becomes chief support officer from senior vice president of human resources. Cathy Martin becomes chief transformation officer from vice president of U.S. strategy, and Tim Pulido is now Brand McDonald's concept-development officer from regional vice president of Dallas region.

Tom Ryan will continue as executive vice president and chief marketing officer. In addition, a general manager will lead each of the 21 regional teams.

The company earlier hinted that the moves would cause a significant impact to its selling, general and administration expenses. Last week, the marketer named three U.S. division presidents, after reducing the number of divisions from five. Henry Gonzalez leads the East division, Ralph Alvarez leads the Central and Don Thompson heads the West.

"The reorganization of the U.S. business is part of an ongoing change process designed to grow McDonald's global business and to ensure that McDonald's is more agile, more competitive and more strategic," Jack M. Greenberg, McDonald's chairman-CEO said in a statement.

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