McDonald's CEO steps down

Don Thompson is out as McDonald's (NYSE:MCD) president, CEO and as a member of the board effective March 1. The board has elected Steve Easterbrook as his replacement.

Thompson held the role for less than three years but spent 25 years with the fast food chain. He oversaw the company's worst sales drop in more than a decade. McDonald's has not shown growth since October 2013, as competition from fast-casual chains ate into its business. Last year saw the company's biggest annual decline in its home market since 2001.

"On behalf of the board I sincerely thank Don for his valuable contributions and outstanding service throughout his career at McDonald's," Andrew McKenna, non-executive chairman of the board said in a statement. "We will be indebted for his passionate leadership, business acumen, dedication and system knowledge."

His successor had been senior executive VP and chief brand officer, spearheading efforts to elevate marketing, advance menu innovation and create an infrastructure for digital initiatives. Easterbrook also served in leadership roles across McDonald's global business, including as president of McDonald's Europe.

McDonald's also promoted Pete Bensen, senior executive VP and CFO, to chief administrative officer, where he will oversee functions supporting the company's operations. He will be succeeded by Kevin Ozan, currently senior VP and corporate controller. Press release