McDonald’s Corporation (NYSE: Mcd) yesterday announced that Don Thompson will become President of its Midwest Division effective January 1. Thompson will replace 26-year-veteran John Charlesworth, who retires at the end of the year after serving as Midwest Division President for the past three years.
In his new capacity, Thompson, 37, will work with the McDonald’s U.S. leadership team to help shape business plans that drive growth in the U.S. In 1997, McDonald’s USA restructured and divided its business into five divisions. The five include Northeast, Southeast, Great Lakes, Midwest and West divisions. The Midwest is comprised of seven regions with 2,287 restaurants and 595 franchisees.
“Don is one of the most respected leaders in the McDonald’s system. He has an incredible amount of passion for the business and a history of not only promising results, but delivering them in the right way, through people,” said Alan Feldman, President, McDonald’s USA. “Don will be a key player in developing our growth strategies as Midwest Division President for McDonald’s USA.”
Thompson began his McDonald’s career in 1990 as an engineer in the corporation’s Restaurant Systems Department. He was promoted to Project Manager in 1991, then named Staff Director for the Quality Development Department in 1993. From there, Thompson became Director of Operations for the Denver Region then Regional Manager for San Diego. In 1998, he was promoted to Regional Vice President before assuming his current position as Senior Vice President-Restaurant Support Officer for the Midwest Division. Thompson’s new post makes him the first African-American to hold this position and one of the highest ranking African Americans in the company.
“I’m excited about this new opportunity to further help grow McDonald’s business,” said Thompson, a Chicago native. “Leading this very dynamic, diverse segment will certainly be rewarding. We’re all committed to continuing the great momentum of the Midwest Division and taking it to even higher levels.”
Prior to joining McDonald’s, Thompson was an Engineer Specialist in the Defense Systems Division for the Northrop Corporation in Rolling Meadows, Ill.. He earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Electrical Engineering from Purdue University. Thompson is married and the father of two children.
McDonald’s is the world’s largest global food-service retailer, with more than 28,000 restaurants serving more than 43 million people a day in 120 countries. Approximately 85 percent of McDonald’s U.S. restaurants are owned and operated by independent franchisees.