Don Thompson, president and chief executive officer of McDonald's Corp., speaks at the Bloomberg Year Ahead: 2014 conference in Chicago on Nov. 21, 2013.
Daniel Acker—Bloomberg/Getty Images
By Eliana Dockterman
January 28, 2015

The president and CEO of McDonald’s will retire effective March 1, the company’s board announced Wednesday, after 25 years with the world’s largest restaurant chain.

Don Thompson will be replaced by Senior Executive Vice President and Chief Brand Officer Steve Easterbrook, who was elected by the board to take his place. McDonald’s still sits atop the fast food throne, with more than 36,000 locations worldwide and some 69 million customers in more than 100 countries per day.

“It’s tough to say goodbye to the McFamily, but there is a time and season for everything,” Thompson said in a statement. “I am truly confident as I pass the reins over to Steve, that he will continue to move our business and brand forward.”

Write to Eliana Dockterman at eliana.dockterman@time.com.

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