McDonald's has announced the election of Richard Lenny, chairman, president and chief executive officer of US confectionery firm The Hershey Company, to the US fastfood giant's board of directors.

McDonald's chairman Andy McKenna said Lenny's strong leadership skills and expertise in the global food industry would add even greater depth and dimension to McDonald's board.

"We are confident that his experience and talent will add enormous value for many years to come," added McDonald's CEO Jim Skinner.

Prior to joining Hershey in March 2001, Lenny was president of Nabisco Biscuit Company. Following Kraft's acquisition of Nabisco in 2000, he was named group vice president of Kraft Foods and president of Nabisco Biscuit and Snacks.