McDonald's has announced it is bringing on a new CEO come July when Jim Skinner, its current CEO, retires after 7 years at the helm.
When Don Thompson, the 48-year-old Chief Operating Officer who oversaw the successful roll-out of its McCafe concept, takes over, he does so after working his way up purchasing kitchen equipment for the company in 1990. His previous job was as an electrical engineer at Northrop Grumman.
He is said to be both analytical and a particularly affable guy who's described by The Wall Street Journal
as a "teddy bear of a man who often greets people with a hug." It was his friendly nature that the WSJ
said "set franchisees at ease when McDonald's was wobbling in early 2002."
The new CEO will take over a company that has performed rather well the past couple of years and is charged to continue the momentum.
Thompson will also be the company's first African American CEO. According to Reuters
, LeBron James, who has worked with Thompson, called him a mentor, a friend, and an inspiration.