Jack M. Greenberg, Chairman and CEO of McDonald’s Corporation, today [Tuesday] promoted Jim Skinner to the position of President and COO of the McDonald’s Restaurant Group, with operating accountability for the company’s more than 29,000 hamburger restaurants in 121 countries. He will report directly to Greenberg.

Greenberg commented: “Jim Skinner has 31 years of invaluable global operations experience, and has a unique understanding of our customers and restaurants. At the same time, he is a respected international business executive who has successfully led McDonald’s restaurant teams in every corner of the world. He is tough, fair and decisive, and completely deserving of these new responsibilities.

“In elevating Jim to this new position, we are emphasizing the importance of a single line of leadership to keep our global management teams focused on our critical business objectives, and recognizing Jim’s unique ability to get the job done.

“This global alignment translates to a relentless focus on the hallmarks of McDonald’s — quality, service, cleanliness and value, and continued business growth.”

Prior to his promotion, Skinner served as President and COO of the Europe, Asia/Pacific and Middle East restaurant operating groups.

Under this single line of leadership for McDonald’s core hamburger business, the company’s key geographic presidents — Claire Babrowski in Asia/Pacific and the Middle East, Charlie Bell in Europe, Pat Donahue in Canada, Mike Roberts in the United States, and Ed Sanchez in Latin America — will now report to Skinner.

Skinner welcomed the promotion: “I’m honored to take on this important responsibility, and excited to partner with the outstanding executives who lead our geographic businesses.

“We have one of the greatest brands in the world, and we will stay completely focused on growing our business for the benefit of our customers, our shareholders, and our McDonald’s family.”

Skinner joined McDonald’s in 1971 as a restaurant manager trainee, and proceeded to serve in a number of US operations roles, including director of field operations, market manager, regional vice president, and zone vice president. In 1992, he joined McDonald’s International, where he oversaw development of Central Europe, the Middle East and Africa, and in 1997 was named President of the Europe Group.