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After Weak Earnings, McDonald's CEO Steps Down


And our next story involves no mystery. Sales at McDonald's are way down, and so the CEO is stepping down. Don Thompson has been CEO for just two and a half years. The McDonald's Board of Directors announced he will retire at the age of 51. NPR's Sonari Glinton reports.

SONARI GLINTON, BYLINE: In the last quarter, McDonald's net income fell by about $300 million. It's not just McDonald's that's struggling. Bonnie Riggs is a restaurant analyst with the NPD group. She says fast-food joints are facing competition, not only from fast casual chains like your Chipotles, Shake Shack and Five Guys, but a hurried shopper is even more likely to stop by the grocery store for, say, a prepared sandwich.

BONNIE RIGGS: Or I might go get a shake and bake pizza. Or I might go and get a rotisserie chicken and a salad and everything prepared, and I just take it home and put it on the table.

GLINTON: Riggs says there is a shift in taste as Americans look for more fresh food and healthier foods. Burger restaurants, though, have tried to compete.

RIGGS: What has happened is that it slowed down service. It's not as fast as it was. And, you know, people go to fast-food restaurants for convenience.

GLINTON: McDonald's gets a new CEO, company veteran Steve Easterbrook, next month as it cuts its construction budget for new restaurants to the lowest point in five years. Sonari Glinton, NPR News. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Sonari Glinton is a NPR Business Desk Correspondent based at our NPR West bureau. He covers the auto industry, consumer goods, and consumer behavior, as well as marketing and advertising for NPR and Planet Money.
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