McDonald’s CEO Will Step Down March 1, Mayor McCheese Not Named Successor

Image courtesy of Ever had a CEO cook breakfast for you?

Ever had a CEO cook breakfast for you?

Here, Johnson (center) cooks an Egg McMuffin on camera.

McDonald’s announced that its CEO Don Thompson, who is not to be confused with Ron Johnson, will retire from the position as of March 1st. The current senior executive vice president and chief brand officer will take over, but what will it take for the brand to win over franchisees and younger Americans?

McDonald’s has been struggling in the period since Thompson took over as CEO in 2012, as culinary trends have made Americans less interested in fast food. It might tell you something about the Johnson era that the company’s stock went up after it announced that its sales from the last quarter of 2014 were not as bad as analysts had expected.

The ever-changing and expanding menu has alienated franchisees, who made their own wish list about what they’d like to cut from the menu to save employees’ time and money.

The mega-chain’s current attempts to win back American consumers have met mixed reviews: one animated spot was well-received, but viewers found another one featuring community messages on a variety of McDonald’s signs maudlin and pandering. (A different music choice might have worked.)

It probably doesn’t help that when McDonald’s does go viral on social media, it’s because someone is making up rumors about which menu items the chain plans to drop. The current campaign featuring former Mythbuster Grant Imahara is a great idea, though it’s problematic that Americans have so many doubts and questions about the origins of the chain’s food.

McDonald’s CEO Don Thompson is out [Crain’s]

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