McDonald's has announced that current President Donald Thompson will take over as CEO on July 1 of this year, becoming the first African American to head the fast-food chain since it was founded in 1955.
From USA Today:
Thompson, who has long been considered among the top candidates to succeed Skinner, will be the first African American to head McDonald's since it was founded in 1955.
Andy McKenna, chairman of McDonald's board, said Thompson's track record and experience "speak to his qualifications to further drive the company's momentum."
The challenge for Thompson, 48, will be to continue the momentum that Skinner, 67, started with the company.
Skinner was among the group of executives that designed the "Plan to Win," which was rolled out in 2003. That plan is credited with turning around the company, which had seen its stock drop after years of corporate expansion.
In recent years, McDonald's has been anything but shy about its efforts to woo African Americans. The restaurant's "365 Days of Black" campaign goes so far as to declare that the chain is "rooted in the black community." That statement raises eyebrows among those who see the fast food as a culprit for health problems and question the tone of its "ethnic marketing."
But others praise the business opportunities the chain provides for racial minorities, which would seem to be affirmed by its appointment of America's 12th-ever "major" black CEO.
Does the announcement of Thompson's new role add any color to your assessment of the fast-food giant? Weigh in.
Read more at USA Today.