McDonald’s Corporation (NYSE:MCD) announced the promotion of Jeff Stratton, the current global chief restaurant officer of the company as the president of McDonalds USA effective December 1. He will report to Tim Fenton, chief operating officer of the company. Stratton will replace Jan Fields who will be leaving the company after more than 35 years of service.


Stratton will manage 14,000 restaurants in the United States. Last month, McDonalds reported a 2.2 percent sales decline in the country due to modest consumer demand. According to Don, Thompson, president and chief executive officer of McDonalds, increased competition offset the impacts of its Local Dollar Menu, Monopoly promotion, and its Cheddar Bacon Onion premium sandwiches.

According to the company, Fields was instrumental in the major business initiatives of McDonald’s Corporation (NYSE:MCD) including the expansion McCafe beverage menu, modernizing restaurants, and the recruitment of 60,000 new staffs on “National Hiring Day” of the company.

Fields was also responsible for making nutritional innovations, by changing the Happy Meal menu to include apple slices and kid-size French fries. She implemented the posting of nutrition information and calorie counts on menu boards, and improved food and product safety.

In a statement, Thompson said, “We appreciate and salute Jan for more than three decades of inspired leadership and impactful service under the Arches. All of us who know Jan will miss her genuine nature and quick-witted humor. We wish Jan the very best.”

On the other hand, Fields said, “When I started on fries as a crew member, I had no idea where that job would lead. McDonald’s has shaped me as much as I’d like to believe I had a role in shaping it.”

Meanwhile, Stratton said he is honored for his appointment as president of McDonald’s USA.  Stratton says that he will maintain his focus on growing the company’s business and elevating the McDonald’s brand. “The great people of this company and our loyal customers fuel my strong passion for McDonald’s.”

Stratton started working at McDonald’s Corporation (NYSE:MCD) as a member of the crew in Detroit. He worked his way up and held various positions in the company such as president of West Division in 2001, chief restaurant officer for McDonalds USA in 2005.

According to Thompson, Stratton is the right choice to lead McDonald’s USA, citing his dedication, experience, innovative actions in finding solutions and strong leadership in his positions in the company for more than 40 years.

Thompson said, “Jeff personifies the meaning of career opportunity at McDonald’s, from starting as crew, to holding numerous field management positions, to leading our U.S. business. His transition into this key leadership role reflects our deep bench of talent at McDonald’s Corporation.”

Goldman Sachs in a report issued today, state that  while it is hard to judge one executive over the other in terms of effectiveness, they see the announcement as a positive for Neutral-rated McDonald’s Corporation (NYSE:MCD) as it suggests that the company, at least internally, acknowledges that some of its current issues are self-induced and require a change. Publicly, management seems to have attributed most of its recent soft sales to the current macro environment and increased competitive pressures.