Meet the man briefed with saving McDonald's, he's from Watford

Who’s that then?

Steve Easterbrook. He’s just taken over as boss of the fast-food giant McDonald’s.

So presumably he’s American then?

Actually he was born in Watford and becomes McDonald’s first-ever non-US chief executive. After attending Watford Boys Grammar School, Easterbrook studied Natural Sciences at Durham University, before becoming an accountant at Price Waterhouse. He joined the Golden Arches in 1993 and was appointed to run UK operations in 2007.

So what happened to the previous boss?

Don Thompson stepped down yesterday after just two-and-a-half years in the top job and some disappointing results. Fourth quarter earnings were $1.1bn (£826m), down 21 per cent from last year. The company also reported its fifth consecutive decline in sales.

Sales in America were down by 4.1 per cent as US consumers look past McDonald’s in favour of “fast-casual” restaurants like Chipotle and Shake Shack. McDonald’s said profits would remain under pressure for the next few months.

Anything else?

Yes actually. McDonald’s is struggling with its image, having been hit by meat scandals in Asia, protests over low wages and legal cases about racism.

So will he be up to it?

Easterbrook is seen as having improved the image of the UK business. Among other initiatives he set up a website to answer questions ranging from working conditions to animal welfare.

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