McDonald’s CEO Retiring, This Guy Taking Over

McDonald’s Corp. (NYSE:MCD) Chief Executive Officer Jim Skinner announces his retirement after almost eight years of running one of the world’s most popular fast food chains. COO Don Thompson will fill his shoes. Skinner will also step down from the board, where he serves as vice chairman. Thompson, 48, who is currently the company’s president and operating chief, will take on his new role July 1.

Peter Saleh, an analyst at Telsey Advisory Group in New York says the transition will be a seamless one. “They’re not going to skip a beat going from Jim to Don.”

Under Thompson, the company will need to stay mindful of increasing competition, expanding McDonald’s sales and profit. Saleh says Thompson needs to focus on the breakfast business and McCafe specialty beverages.

Wendy’s Co. and Taco Bell (NYSE:YUM) have both been testing breakfast foods at limited U.S. locations. Burger King Holdings Inc. (BKC) also started dishing out soft-serve ice cream and more upscale menu items last year in an effort to convert McDonald’s minions.

Here’s how shares are reacting to the news:

McDonald’s Corp. (NYSE:MCD): MCD shares recently traded at $95.92, down $0.8, or 0.83%. They have traded in a 52-week range of $74.49 to $102.22. Volume today was 2,598,573 shares versus a 3-month average volume of 5,396,860 shares. The company’s trailing P/E is 18.24, while trailing earnings are $5.27 per share.

Yum! Brands, Inc. (NYSE:YUM): YUM shares recently traded at $70.40, up $0.48, or 0.69%. They have traded in a 52-week range of $47.15 to $70.41. Volume today was 1,211,534 shares versus a 3-month average volume of 3,367,100 shares. The company’s trailing P/E is 25.71, while trailing earnings are $2.74 per share.

To contact the reporter on this story: Lindsey Grossman at staff.writers@wallstcheatsheet.com

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Damien Hoffman at editors@wallstcheatsheet.com