updated - June 19, 2021 Saturday EDT
McDonald's announced on Wednesday that Don Thompson will step down as president and chief executive officer of the company and will be replaced by Steve Easterbrook, the franchise's current chief brand officer.
The executive switch becomes effective March 1.
"It's tough to say goodbye to the McFamily, but there is a time and season for everything," Thompson said in a statement, according to USA Today.
"I am truly confident as I pass the reins over to Steve, that he will continue to move our business and brand forward."
McDonald's announcement was made amid ongoing financial woes, namely global decline in same-store sales and overall economic earnings. The company's recently-released fourth-quarter results for financial year 2014 reflect this hardship: a 21 percent drop in earnings and store traffic was reported, 3.6 percent of which accounts for the global market and 4.1 percent for the United States alone.
Although McDonald's has made many attempts to rebrand itself, including changing its primary slogan and including healthier menu options, several experts claim the company's popularity has long disappeared. Changing eating habits and preference for fast-casual restaurant chains are among the most commonly mentioned reasons.
"I think one of the missteps the company has had this year is trying a one-size-fits-all approach, where you have the products that are rolled out nationwide," RJ Hottovy said in a "Squawk Box" interview, according to CNBC.
"I think they need to look at the local demand, the different preferences, taste preferences, different demographics in each market and start to come out with more localized product decisions and localized marketing decisions as well."
Shares of McDonald's stock rose by almost three percent in premarket trading on Thursday following news of Thompson's resignation.
TOP 10 FRANCHISES OF 2021