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Who is Chris Kempczinski, McDonald’s new CEO? 5 things you need to know

Who is Chris Kempczinski, McDonald’s new CEO? 5 things you need to know
[Photo: McDonald’s]

News broke last night that stunned the fast-food world. McDonald’s announced that its CEO, Steve Easterbrook, was being removed from his position due to breaking company guidelines regarding relationships with employees. In a press release, McDonald’s said Easterbrook, who had been CEO since 2015, “violated company policy and demonstrated poor judgment involving a recent consensual relationship with an employee.”

In that same press release, McDonald’s announced the company’s new CEO was taking the reins immediately. That new CEO is Chris Kempczinski, and here are five facts you need to know about him:

  1. Kempczinski has an MBA from Harvard Business School.
  2. As the Harvard Alumni Association notes, before joining McDonald’s global strategy team in 2015, Kempczinski was an executive vice president for Kraft Foods and before that was a vice president of marketing for PepsiCo.
  3. Within one year and one month of joining McDonald’s, Kempczinski was promoted to president of McDonald’s USA in October 2016.
  4. During his tenure as president of McDonald’s U.S. footprint, Kempczinski oversaw the business operations of around 14,000 stores.
  5. Yahoo Finance says McDonald’s sources said Kempczinski is a “very detailed oriented executive”—but suggests that might not be a good trait for a person who needs to take on a broad leadership role. The publication goes on to say Kempczinski “tends to be an analytics driven executive, which has in the past ruffled some feathers of franchisees that pride themselves on relationships with corporate.”

In the press release announcing his promotion to CEO, Kempczinski said:

I’m thrilled to be leading this incredible company. Working alongside our talented team, our Board, our franchisees and suppliers, I am committed to upholding our rich heritage of serving our customers and driving value for our shareholders and other stakeholders. As one of the world’s leading brands, McDonald’s makes a difference in the lives of people every day. We have a responsibility not only to serve great food, but to make it responsibly and to enrich the communities in which we operate. I am energized by this challenge and look forward to guiding McDonald’s continued success.

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