It might seem to be just another annual shareholders meeting today at McDonald's, but this one will be closely watched as a precursor to the fast-food world's most important changing of the guards in years.
This will be the last meeting presided over by CEO Jim Skinner, 67, who steps down June 30 after guiding McDonald's through one of its most successful, yet change-embracing, periods.
Under his tenure, McDonald's became less a food company and more a beverage company. It became less a fast-food company and more a fast-change company that tweaked everything from its Happy Meals to salads to restaurant design. When Don Thompson, 49, steps in as CEO, becoming one of the nation's most powerful African-American executives, the pressure will mount for him to change McDonald's at an even faster clip.