McDonald's top executive Don Thompson is out at McDonald's.
Mr. Thompson will leave his post effective March 1 and will be replaced by McDonald's veteran Steve Easterbrook, currently chief brand officer.
The move comes as McDonald's makes sweeping changes to turn around its ailing business.
Mr. Thompson's departure is the latest in a series of senior executive changes in the 18 months at the fast feeder. Deborah Wahl, U.S. CMO, replaced Neil Golden early in 2014. Mike Andres was named U.S. president last year after Jeff Stratton departed the chain. The company also recruited Atif Rafiq to be McDonald's chief digital officer, a newly created role to guide the company's digital strategy. Marlena Peleo-Lazar, chief creative officer, left last year and has not been replaced.
Mr. Thompson's departure follows a round of layoffs earlier this month at the company's headquarters that resulted in the loss of 63 jobs, part of an effort to cut costs by $100 million. Some executives familiar with the matter said that the chain has been conducting layoffs in departments including marketing, but the company did not respond to a request for comment.
"Steve is a strong and experienced executive who successfully led our U.K. 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, McDonald's non-executive chairman.