McDonald's Corporation (MCD) came out with a press release (here) after the close that will likely be unwelcome to shareholders - Vice Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Jim Skinner has informed the board of directors of his decision to retire after 41 years with the company, effective June 30, 2012. Since Skinner became CEO in 2004, the stock has increased at a rate of more than 20% per annum and surpassed a market cap of $100 billion for the first time.
McDonald's Board of Directors announced that they had elected current President and Chief Operating Officer Don Thompson (full bio here), 48, to succeed as CEO, effective the day after Mr. Skinner steps down. Andy McKenna, chairman of McDonald's Board of Directors, had this to say about Don: “As we look to the future, the Board has every confidence that Don's strategic leadership and global business insight makes him the ideal CEO. His track record of performance as President and COO of McDonald's Corporation and President of McDonald's USA speak to his qualifications to further drive the company's momentum."
Don became president and COO in early 2010 and has directed the global strategy and operations of more than 33,000 McDonald’s restaurants around the globe over the past 24 months; before that, he was president of McDonald's USA for four years, where he was responsible for the strategic direction of the nearly 14,000 restaurants in the U.S.
Surprisingly (at least to me), Skinner has also has resigned from McDonald's Board of Directors; here’s a link to a CNBC special entitled “Big Mac: Inside the McDonald’s Empire,” which discusses the company’s history, its success under Mr. Skinner, and the plan for international growth looking forward.
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About the author:I'm a value investor, with a focus on patience; I look to buy great companies that are suffering from short term issues, and hope to load up when these opportunities present themselves. As this would suggest, I run a fairly concentrated portfolio by most standards, usually with 8-10 names; from the perspective of a businessman rather than a market participant / stock trader, I believe this is more than sufficient diversification.
I hope to own a collection of great businesses; to ever sell one, I would demand a substantial premium to the average market valuation due to what I believe are the understated benefits to the long term investor of superior fundamentals and time on intrinsic value. I don't have a target when I purchase a stock; my goal is to replicate the underlying returns of the business in question - which if I've done my job properly, should be very attractive over a period of many years.