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McDonald's President is No Longer a Lady


When we read McDonald’s was letting Jan Fields, president of its U.S. division, go after the chain saw its first drop in a monthly sales figure in nearly a decade, it prompted us to reread our June/July 2010 cover story about Fields when she was first promoted.

As we said then: McDonald’s does not import its leaders, they’re homegrown. Fields told us at the time: Tenures are long at headquarters. Perhaps she was referring to tenure with the company, not in the job.

 “Our changes were planned,” she had said of her recent promotion, along with Don Thompson’s. Fields took over the president’s job as Thompson moved into the CEO spot.

Like many of Fields contemporaries, she started in the kitchen. As a young military wife, struggling to complete her college degree while raising her children, she took the job because it offered flexible hours. She worked her way up to a spot no other woman has held at the world’s most famous franchise.

Fields may have been the first woman to hold the title of president, but hopefully she won’t be the last.

Jeff Stratton, McDonald’s global chief restaurant officer, was named as her replacement.

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About This Blog

The latest news, opinions and commentary on what's happening in the franchise arena that could affect your business.

Tom KaiserTom Kaiser is senior editor of Franchise Times. He can be reached at 612.767.3209, or send story ideas to tkaiser@franchisetimes.com.
Beth EwenBeth Ewen is editor-in-chief of Franchise Times. She can be reached at 612.767.3212, or send story ideas to bewen@franchisetimes.com.
Nicholas UptonNicholas Upton is restaurants editor at Franchise Times. He can be reached at 612.767.3226, or send story ideas to nupton@franchisetimes.com.
Laura MichaelsLaura Michaels is managing editor of Franchise Times. She can be reached at 612.767.3210, or send story ideas to lmichaels@franchisetimes.com.
Mary Jo LarsonMary Jo Larson is the publisher of Franchise Times Magazine and the Restaurant Finance Monitor.  You can find her on Twitter at




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