The Board of Directors of McDonald’s Corporation this week announced that Don Thompson will retire as president and chief executive officer and as a member of the Board of Directors after nearly 25 years of service to the company, effective March 1. The Board has elected Steve Easterbrook to replace Thompson as president and CEO. Easterbrook was also elected to the Board of Directors, filling the vacancy created by Thompson.

“Steve is a strong and experienced executive who successfully led our UK and European business units and the board is confident that he can effectively lead the company to improved financial and operational performance,” says Andrew McKenna, non-executive Chairman of the Board of Directors.

“On behalf of the board I sincerely thank Don for his valuable contributions and outstanding service throughout his career at McDonald’s,” McKenna adds. “We will be indebted for his passionate leadership, business acumen, dedication, and system knowledge.”