NEW YORK — McDonald’s says the president of its U.S. business is retiring after about two years on the job, marking the latest executive change as the fast-food giant tries to reinvent itself by bringing in a relative outsider to lead its flagship region.
The company said Wednesday that Mike Andres, who is 58 and stepped into his role in October 2014, will retire at the end of the year. He will be replaced effective Jan. 1 by Chris Kempczinski, 47, who joined the company last year and is executive vice president of strategy, business development and innovation.
Kempczinski’s limited experience with McDonald’s marks a change for the company — the past three presidents of the U.S. business have been McDonald’s veterans.
The leadership change comes under CEO Steve Easterbrook, who took over last year and is trying to step up the image of McDonald’s burgers and fries while fending off a growing number of competitors. Easterbrook has vowed to move more quickly to cut costs and ensure McDonald’s is keeping pace with changing tastes. McDonald’s said Wednesday that Lucy Brady will fill the role being vacated by Kempczinski, and noted that she has led several turnaround efforts at The Boston Consulting Group.
Andres is a 30-year McDonald’s employee whose father was a pilot for Ray Kroc, who turned the company into a fast-food giant. Andres had overseen the rollout of an all-day breakfast menu last year, as well as the phasing out of ingredients people may find unpalatable. He had been appointed under previous McDonald’s CEO Don Thompson, who was replaced after sales slumped and customer visits declined at established U.S. locations.