Photographer: Daniel Acker/Bloomberg

McDonald's Revamps U.S. Management to Remove Two Zone Presidents

McDonald’s Corp., cutting bureaucracy as part of a turnaround plan, will eliminate two of the four zone-president jobs from its U.S. management ranks.

Rick Colon and Kevin Newell will be retiring as zone presidents, and their responsibilities will be redistributed among managers, the Oak Brook, Illinois-based company said in an e-mailed statement Tuesday. The remaining two presidents, Debbie Roberts and Charlie Strong, will continue to report to Karen King, the company’s chief field officer. McDonald’s 14,000 domestic restaurants, which had been divided into Northeast, South, Central and West zones, will now be split into two areas.

The move is the latest attempt by Chief Executive Officer Steve Easterbrook to streamline the sprawling fast-food chain. He took the reins last March, aiming to pull the company out of its worst sales slump in more than a decade. In addition to restructuring management, he has tried to speed up service, revamp kitchens and improve ordering precision.

“We are committed to make strategic decisions faster,” Lisa McComb, a spokeswoman for the chain, said in Tuesday’s e-mail. That involves “removing layers so that our regional teams can improve the way we run our restaurants.”

The latest changes won’t bring layoffs, she said.

Easterbrook’s efforts helped fuel a rally in McDonald’s stock last year, when it gained 26 percent. The shares fell less than 1 percent to $116.59 as of 9:41 a.m. on Wednesday in New York.