OAK BROOK, Ill. – Steve Easterbrook, 43, currently McDonald's executive vice president and global chief brand officer, has been elected president of McDonald's Europe effective Dec. 1, by the McDonald's Corporation Board of Directors. Previously CEO of McDonald's United Kingdom and President of Europe's Northern Division, Easterbrook succeeds Denis Hennequin, who is resigning from McDonald's on Nov. 30 to become CEO of the Accor Hotels Group.

Easterbrook will oversee operations of more than 6,800 McDonald's restaurants in 39 European countries. He will report to Don Thompson, McDonald's president and COO.

"Steve's keen knowledge of our business in Europe and his consumer-driven approach to building our brand make him the ideal choice to lead McDonald's Europe," Thompson said. "We are confident that his strong commitment to our customers and to our employees will fuel continued success in Europe."

"The opportunity to lead the McDonald's Europe team is a great honor," said Easterbrook. "In accepting this position, I'd like to pay tribute to Denis Hennequin for his leadership in driving our business in Europe. We'll strive to maintain and accelerate our strong momentum by anticipating the needs of our customers, investing in our employees, and further developing our brand."

Easterbrook is a 16-year McDonald's veteran with experience in finance, operations and supply chain. He took over as CEO of the U.K. in April 2006, and added responsibility for Sweden, Finland, Denmark, Norway, and Ireland in January 2007.