Thompson named president, c.o.o. of McDonald's

by Eric Schroeder
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OAK BROOK, ILL. — Don Thompson, most recently president of McDonald USA, has been elected to the role of president and chief operating officer, effective immediately. He succeeds Ralph Alvarez, who retired at the end of 2009 due to health-related reasons.

Mr. Thompson began his career with McDonald’s in 1990 as an engineer in the Restaurant Systems Group. He moved into restaurant operations four years later, was named regional manager of the San Diego region in 1998, and was promoted to regional vice-president a year later. In 2000 he was named president of the Midwest Division of McDonald’s USA, and in 2001 he was named president of the company’s West Division. In 2004, he returned to Oak Brook as executive vice-president of McDonald’s Restaurant Systems Group. A year later he was promoted to executive vice-president and c.o.o. for McDonald’s USA. Most recently he was president of McDonald’s USA since 2006.

“Don Thompson has done an outstanding job leading our U.S. business, and I am confident he will bring the same energy and innovative thinking to his new global role as president and chief operating officer,” said James Skinner, chief executive officer. “I also know he will hit the ground running, having worked collaboratively for many years with our Area of the World leadership teams to share strategic solutions and execute our successful Plan to Win. Don’s U.S. leadership experience, combined with the great record he had as executive vice-president of our global Restaurant Systems Group, uniquely qualifies him for this next important responsibility at McDonald’s.”

Succeeding Mr. Thompson as president of McDonald’s USA is Jan Fields. Ms. Fields began her McDonald’s career as a crew person for a McDonald’s owner-operator, and joined McDonald’s Corp. in 1978 as a restaurant manager trainee. She moved through McDonald’s operations career path as an area supervisor, field consultant, operations manager, and director of operations. In 1994, she was promoted to regional manager of the Pittsburgh region. In 2000, she was promoted to U.S. senior vice-president and Central Division support officer. Three years later, she was named U.S. division president for the Central Division, and in 2006 she was named to her current role as executive vice-president and c.o.o., McDonald’s USA.

Taking over for Ms. Fields as executive vice-president and c.o.o. of McDonald’s USA will be Jim Johannesen. Mr. Johannesen joined McDonald’s in 1979 as an attorney in the corporate legal department. In 1986, he was named director for McDonald’s business affairs group, and in 1992 he became an assistant vice-president within the U.S. restaurant development department. In 1998, he moved into restaurant operations as regional vice-president of the Phoenix region. Three years later he was named vice-president and general manager of the Chicago region. In 2002 he was promoted to U.S. senior vice-president and chief support officer for McDonald’s USA. In 2006, he was promoted to his current role as president of the Central Division.

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