Thompson, who has led global strategy and operations for more than 33,000 McDonald’s restaurants in 119 countries in his current role, was previously president of the US business. He has been with McDonald’s for 22 years.
He has pledged to maintain the company’s focus on its three existing global priorities by expanding the menu choice, modernising the customer experience and attracting a broader range of customers.
As CEO, Skinner was one of the figureheads for McDonald’s ‘Plan to win’ strategic framework introduced in 2003. It put an emphasis on “being better not just bigger” and kick-started the corporation’s modernisation through new restaurants, menus and an approach to marketing that championed a “balanced, active lifestyle”.
Skinner has been at McDonald’s for 41 years and under his leadership the company’s value surpassed $100bn (£63bn) for the first time in the company’s history.
Andy McKenna, chairman of McDonald’s board of directors, says: “Jim’s stellar leadership has driven unprecedented momentum at McDonald’s … the board has every confidence that Don’s strategic leadership and global business insight make him the ideal CEO. His track record of performance as president and COO of McDonald’s Corporation and president of McDonald’s USA speak to his qualifications to further drive the company’s momentum.”