When Don Thompson took the reins at McDonald’s in July, investors and industry experts predicted few changes at the Golden Arches. Thompson, chief operating officer and a 22-year company veteran, had long been seen as heir apparent, with support inside and out of the organization.
Four months later, McDonald’s reported its first monthly sales decline in nearly a decade. The honeymoon was over.
A year into the job, Thompson can point to some successes — including a higher stock price — as evidence that Wall Street still believes in the company as it manages through tough times.
“There are several things we’ve done quite well, despite the fact that it’s a difficult global economy, and probably one of the worst we’ve seen collectively around the globe at the same time,” Thompson said in an interview. “We’re maintaining and even growing our market share, which is one of the things we strive to do, particularly in tighter times for consumers and discretionary spending.”