Jim Cantalupo, formerly vice chairman and president, will succeed Mr. Greenberg as CEO and chairman of the boards. The board also elected Charles Bell, president of McDonald's Europe, as president and chief operating officer for company, and Jim Skinner as the new vice chairman. Both Messrs. Bell and Skinner will report to Mr. Cantalupo.
Lowered earnings, sales
The Oak Brook, Ill.-based McDonald's, which spends more than $400 million a year in advertising, has been stung by a series of negative earnings reports of late, as well as a dip in sales. In October, McDonald's reported its seventh earnings decline in eight quarterly periods, with an 11% drop in net income to $486 million, or 38 cents
During a call with analysts to announce the earnings, Mr. Greenberg called October the "longest [month] in our history," but insisted that the global restaurant company's business model was strong despite "external economic factors."
Job cuts, agency fees
Last month, the company said it was cutting 400 to 600 worldwide positions, with at least half from the U.S.; shuttering 175 poorly performing units in 10 countries; and exiting seven countries in the Middle East and Latin America. In other cost-cutting moves, AdAge.com reported last month that McDonald's was to ask its main agencies -- Omnicom Group's DDB Worldwide and Publicis Groupe's Leo Burnett USA, both Chicago -- to slash fees by as much as 25%.
Mr. Greenberg's retirement is effective Dec. 31; Mr. Cantalupo officially takes over the next day.
"We have challenges ahead, but I am extremely confident in our ability to succeed," Mr. Cantalupo said in a statement. "I am confident, because I believe in the strength of our brand and the commitment of our people. The management changes we have announced today, combined with the talent and experience of the leadership team in place, is a solid foundation."