31 Aug 2016
Managing McDonald’s MakeoverTopics:
McDonald’s has a new head of US operations: Chris Kempczinski (MBA 1997).
The former Kraft executive takes over effective January 1, and comes, according to the Associated Press, a year after new McDonald’s CEO Steve Easterbrook took over and set about the work of ensuring that the iconic brand is “keeping pace with changing tastes and habits.”
The move was reportedly unexpected, given McDonald’s history of promoting from internal ranks. (Kempczinski was brought on last year.)
In quickly tapping a relative newcomer to the company to replace Andres, CEO Steve Easterbrook is showing his desire to bring fresh blood into a company that traditionally has promoted almost solely from within.
Easterbrook, though, praised Kempczinski’s immediate impact:
"Mike has done a great job to get this business back on track," CEO Steve Easterbrook said in an interview Wednesday. "He has poured his heart and soul into this business, and cultivated some really strong relationships."
Easterbrook would go on to say about Kempczinski that it’s “rare to find a leader that's both a strong strategic thinker and has the operational mindset to get things done… It’s a prerequisite for building the McDonald's we want to have."
Class of MBA 1997, Section E