Jan Fields, president of McDonald’s USA has stepped down from her post. She will be succeeded by Jeff Stratton, currently the company’s global chief restaurant officer. Her exit was announced a week after disappointing global restaurant sales for the chain were reported. McDonald’s has been losing customers to rival fast-food chains like Burger King and Taco Bell. This marked its first decline in sales in nine years.
Company spokeswoman Heidi Barker Sa Shekhem said Fields’s departure was “a business decision by senior management.”"We feel that now was the right time to make a change in leadership for the U.S. business,” Shekhem said. She said she did not know Fields’s future plans.
As head of the fast-food giant’s 14,000 U.S. restaurants, Fields increased 2010 U.S. revenue 2% and operating income 7% her first year in the role. The McDonald’s veteran also headed up the company’s National Hiring Day in April, signing on 62,000 new employees, according to Fortune.
Fields began her journey with McDonald’s 35 years ago as a crewmember. She has worked at all levels of the company, from the restaurants to management. She has served as president and senior vice president of McDonald’s Central Division, senior vice president in the former Southeast Division and regional vice president of the Pittsburgh region.
Outside of McDonald’s, she currently serves on the boards of St. Louis-based Monsanto, the Chicago Urban League, and United Cerebral Palsy. She also chairs the advisory board of Catalyst and is a member of The Chicago Network, an organization of professional women.
She has been named to Forbes’ list of The World’s 100 Most Powerful Women, Fortune’s 50 Most Powerful Women in Business list, the Wall Street Journal’s 50 Women to Watch list, and Crain’s Chicago Business’ lists of 25 Women to Watch.