OAK BROOK, ILL. — Ralph Alvarez, president and chief operating officer at McDonald’s Corp., will retire at the end of the year due to health-related reasons. He also will step down from the company’s board of directors.

"After more than 30 years in the restaurant industry, the past 15 with this great brand McDonald’s, I’ve decided to retire," Mr. Alvarez said. "Seven orthopedic surgeries and years of chronic pain culminating in two total knee replacements in the past six months have made me realize it’s time to move on."

Mr. Alvarez joined McDonald’s in 1994, and he has held a variety of leadership roles throughout his McDonald’s career, including president of McDonald’s North America and president of McDonald’s USA. Prior to that, he was c.o.o. and president of the Central Division, both with McDonald’s USA. Before joining the U.S. business, he was president of McDonald’s Mexico.