McDonald’s Corp. (MCD:US) promoted Tim Fenton, who has worked for the restaurant chain since he was a teenager, to chief operating officer as the company battles increasing competition and higher ingredient costs.
Fenton, 54, currently president of McDonald’s Asia, Pacific, Middle East and Africa unit, will begin his new role on July 1, the Oak Brook, Illinois-based company said today in a statement. He began his career at age 16 in 1973 at a McDonald’s in Utica, New York, where he worked the deep fryer and the drive-through window.
McDonald’s has been working to keep boosting sales and profit amid increasing competition from Wendy’s Co. (WEN:US) and Yum! Brands Inc. (YUM:US)’s Taco Bell chain, which recently have been testing breakfast foods at some U.S. locations. Burger King Holdings Inc. also began selling new menu items last year in a bid to lure McDonald’s diners.
Raw-ingredient prices may rise as much as 5.5 percent in the U.S. and 3.5 percent in Europe in 2012, Chief Financial Officer Peter Bensen said during an earnings call on Jan. 24.
Fenton will oversee the company’s more than 33,500 restaurants worldwide, McDonald’s said. Don Thompson, McDonald’s previous COO, was tapped last month to take over as chief executive officer after Jim Skinner retires this year.
Fenton was named manager of the year in 1979 before moving onto executive positions in the U.S., Asia and Poland.
McDonald’s fell 0.4 percent to $96.58 at the close in New York. The shares have declined 3.7 percent this year.
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