Fenton will retain his position during a brief transition period, after which he will become a special advisor to Don Thompson, McDonald’s president and CEO, with a focus on global franchising, restaurant portfolio optimization and other business strategies. Fenton, who has 41 years of experience with McDonald’s, said health reasons have interfered with the travel demands of his job.
Rather than replace the COO role, McDonald’s board of directors has approved several reporting structure changes. McDonald’s regional presidents, who are responsible for operations of the fast-food chain’s 35,000 restaurants worldwide, will report directly to Thompson. Additionally, the company has broadened responsibilities for two leaders. Pete Benson, executive vice-president and chief financial officer, will oversee worldwide supply chain, development and franchising functions. Steve Easterbrook, executive vice-president and global chief brand officer, will assume responsibility for the restaurant solutions group, corporate strategy and the global CSR, sustainability and philanthropy department. As part of the changes, Benson and Easterbrook have been named senior executive vice-presidents.
"We are confident that Pete, Steve and our global leadership team will remain focused on driving the business forward and delivering an outstanding restaurant experience to our 70 million customers we serve daily around the world," Thompson said. "On behalf of the entire McDonald's system, I salute Tim for his 41 years of continuous service to McDonald's, and want to thank him for his countless contributions to our business. We have benefitted greatly from his international experience, deep commitment to operational excellence and proven track record of success."