McDonald’s Chief Executive Officer Jim Skinner announced today that Ralph Alvarez has decided to retire as President and Chief Operating Officer of the company for health-related reasons.
“After more than 30 years in the restaurant industry, the past 15 with this great brand McDonald’s, I’ve decided to retire,” Alvarez said. “Seven orthopedic surgeries and years of chronic pain culminating in two total knee replacements in the past six months have made me realize it’s time to move on.”
Alvarez’ retirement is effective December 31, 2009. He has also decided to resign as a member of the McDonald’s Board of Directors.
“I know this was a difficult decision, but it was the right one for Ralph and his family,” Skinner said. “On behalf of the entire McDonald’s system, I want to commend Ralph for his many contributions to our business. McDonald’s has benefited greatly from Ralph’s leadership and commitment to operational excellence.”
Speaking for the McDonald’s Board, Chairman Andrew J. McKenna, said, “Ralph has been a strong executive and member of our Board. His industry experience and insights have served us well.”
As a result of this change, the company’s Area of the World executive leadership team, responsible for the operation of McDonald’s 32,000 restaurants worldwide, will now report directly to CEO Jim Skinner.
Alvarez, 55, joined McDonald’s in 1994. He has held a variety of leadership roles throughout his McDonald’s career, including President of McDonald’s North America and President of McDonald’s USA. Prior to that, he served as Chief Operations Officer and President of the Central Division, both with McDonald’s USA. Before joining the U.S. business, he was President of McDonald’s Mexico.