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Megan McArdle

A Tall Order for McDonald's

McDonald's, the quintessentially American company, gets a new CEO in the British Steve Easterbrook.
It's times like these, I wish I had a 3-D printer.

It's times like these, I wish I had a 3-D printer.

Photographer: Photographer: Kiyoshi Ota/Bloomberg

The McFamily is losing its McFather. After only two and a half years at the helm, McDonald's Chief Executive Officer Don Thompson is stepping down. Five straight quarters of disappointing sales apparently have shareholders longing for new leadership. The quintessentially American company, whose Golden Arches are a symbol of American marketing power across the globe, will be headed by a Brit, Steve Easterbrook.

Can Easterbrook chase the malaise out of McDonald's sales? He's done a good job in Europe. And some of the problems that plagued Thompson were one-off events, including a tainted-food scandal in Asia that temporarily forced McDonald's to stop selling chicken in the region.