US burger behemoth McDonald's has announced a string of senior level promotions and sideway transfers following yesterday's news that James Cantalupo is to retire from his position as vice chairman and president.

The reshuffle includes the creation of two top-level international positions, which analysts are interpreting as a sign of determination to keep closer control over profitability after wildfire international growth suffered two consecutive quarters of poor profits.

Alan Feldman, currently president of McDonald's US operations, has been appointed to the new post of president and COO for the Americas region. This extends his area of responsibility to include Latin America, Canada and the Caribbean and a total of 12,520 restaurants.

He will be assisted by Michael Roberts, who has been promoted from one of five US divisional presidents to become president of McDonald's USA, filling Feldman's shoes.

Jim Skinner, president of McDonald's Europe, will see his role grow to include the Asia-Pacific region. Within his division, Charlie Bell moves from Asia-Pacific to Europe, while Claire Babrowski succeeds Bell in the Asia-Pacific area.

Closer to home, the Oak Brook, Illinois-based company has created the new post of president of new brands, which will be filled by Jeffrey B. Kindler, currently general counsel and in charge of the Boston market.

Cantalupo will be staying on in advisory capacity "for a while longer to work through this challenging business climate and [the] transition [of] our new leaders." The company has not yet named a successor, and it is likely that the head-hunters currently looking for a successor to replace outgoing CFO Michael Conley will now broaden their search to identify a new group president too.

One striking aspect of the announcement, which can be read in full here, is that the reorganisation involved internal staff alone. The company has been accused of parochialism in the past, with its reluctance to recruit new blood being widely questioned.

The group's stock price has been on the decline for several months as problems such as red meat diseases in Europe and sluggish financial markets held back consumer confidence in beef and stock market progress.

McDonald's staff can do very little about these difficulties beyond ensure its internal operations are as slick and effective as possible. CEO Jack Greenberg clearly feels the right competences and personal qualities are already in the company and the reorganisation should streamline them to best effect.

To read the announcement with full details of the reorganisation, please click here.