McDonald’s appoints UK-born Easterbrook as CEO as Thompson departs

McDonald’s has appointed chief brand officer Steve Easterbook as CEO in a move to regain sales after the announcement that current CEO and president Don Thompson is retiring from the company.

Easterbook, who will take the post on 1 March, has been behind recent marketing efforts to turn around sales for the brand, including a brand refresh, menu innovation and a ramp up in digital initiatives for the restaurant.

Having previously left his post as president of McDonald’s Europe in 2011, Easterbrook has recently held roles as CEO of Wagamama and of Pizza Express before returning to the golden arches in April 2013 as global chief brand officer.

In a company statement, he said he is “honoured” to lead the brand and is “committed to working with our franchisees, suppliers and employees to drive forward our strategic business priorities to better serve our customers”.

Meanwhile, Thompson, who joined the company in 1990 and was named global president in 2010, said: “It’s tough to say goodbye to the McFamily, but there is a time and season for everything. I am truly confident as I pass the reins over to Steve, that he will continue to move our business and brand forward.”

The move comes after a number of job cuts were announced at the company’s US headquarters earlier this month in an effort to cut costs as sales for the brand continue to fall.

The brand’s latest quarter results were also lower than expected, with a profit decline of 21% year on year and total revenues for the quarter down by 7.3%.

Thompson had last week announced that the company will lean on its ‘Create Your Taste’ marketing strategy to move McDonald’s forward, a global initiative that looks to promote customisable menus, as part of a wider aim to push customer engagement digitally through kiosks and mobile ordering.

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