McDonald’s Chairman Andrew McKenna Plans to Retire From Board

McDonald’s Corp. Chairman Andrew McKenna said he’ll retire from the fast-food chain’s board after 25 years, including more than a decade as chairman, ending one of the longest tenures in the fast-food industry.

McKenna, 86, won’t stand for re-election at the May 26 shareholders’ meeting and will become chairman emeritus, the Oak Brook, Illinois-based company said Wednesday in a statement. The new chairman will be elected from the current board at the annual meeting.

The retirement removes one of the company’s stalwarts during a tumultuous time. McDonald’s named Steve Easterbrook as chief executive officer a year ago and has been working to compete with newer, more modern chains. The company recently was helped by the U.S. rollout of all-day breakfast, which drove fourth-quarter same-store sales growth of 5 percent.

McDonald’s rose 0.1 percent to $127.52 at the close in New York, before the retirement was announced. The shares have gained 7.9 percent this year, compared with a 1.1 percent increase for the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index.

International Growth

When McKenna joined the board in 1991, McDonald’s was focused on international growth. The chain had just opened its first location in Moscow and in 1992 would start selling burgers in Warsaw. McDonald’s, the world’s biggest restaurant company in terms of sales, has since grown to 36,000 locations in more than 100 countries.

Easterbrook is still focused on expanding abroad -- McDonald’s recently opened its first restaurant in Kazakhstan. He’s also making tweaks to the food in the U.S. and trying to attract Americans with discounted fare, such as the 2-for-$5 menu.

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