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MCDONALD'S MAKES CHANGES TO EXECUTIVE RANKS

Moves Within U.S. Operations Could Point to Succession Plan

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CHICAGO (AdAge.com) -- McDonald's Corp. yesterday announced several changes and promotions to its executive ranks, for North America and overseas, as the fast-food marketer is possibly putting in place a succession plan.
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Ralph Alvarez, president of McDonald's USA, added responsibility for Canada as president of McDonald's North America.

Restaurant solutions group
Jeff Stratton, chief operations officer for McDonald's USA, was promoted to executive vice president for the restaurant solutions group. In his new role, Mr. Stratton will oversee worldwide operations and training, innovation, concept development, supply chain, development, architecture, safety and security, and restaurant technology, according to an internal memo from Mike Roberts, president and chief operating officer for McDonald's Corp.

Mr. Stratton replaces Don Thompson, who was named executive vice president and chief operations officer of McDonald's USA.

"These organizational changes and promotions capitalize on our deep bench of worldwide management talent," CEO Jim Skinner said in a statement. "They will further drive the progress we are making behind McDonald's 'Plan to Win' by increasing focus on the strategic drivers of our business, establishing more clear lines of management responsibility and accountability, and increasing efficiencies in greater support of our restaurants and customers."

Jim Cantalupo, Charlie Bell
The burger giant has had to make management changes despite improving sales performance (the company was named Advertising Age's marketer of the year for its successful turnaround) following the sudden death of CEO Jim Cantalupo April 19 of a heart attack. His successor, Charlie Bell, stepped down in December to battle colorectal cancer. He died last week from his illness.

After Messrs. Skinner and Roberts were named to their posts in December after Mr. Bell stepped down, observers speculated Mr. Skinner would be CEO for less than a few years in order to groom Mr. Roberts for eventual ascension to top post. One executive characterized yesterday's moves as "Mike Roberts putting his team together."

Changes to Asia Pacific region
As part of the management changes, McDonald's said Marvin Whaley, president of McDonald's Asia, Middle East and Africa, would retire at the end of 2005 after 32 years. The marketer credited Mr. Whaley for leading the fast-growing region to "one of its best years" last year. Tim Fenton, president of the East Division of McDonald's USA, will succeed Mr. Whaley. Mr. Fenton previously was senior vice president of the region, which going forward will include Australia and New Zealand and report to Mr. Roberts.

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