McDonald’s Names New US President Amid Sales Slump

(Chicago Tribune/MCT ) -

McDonald’s Corp. on Friday named Mike Andres the president of its U.S. operations, bringing back an executive who left the fast-food chain in 2012, to revitalize sales.

Andres, 56, replaces Jeff Stratton, 58, who is retiring after 41 years with the company. Stratton had been U.S. president for less than two years.

Andres will have the challenge of turning around U.S. sales, which have declined every month since October amid intense competition and a shift in American diets toward more natural and less processed food.

Stratton tried to boost sales by expanding the Dollar Menu and introducing new sandwiches such as the McWrap. He also pushed franchisees to remodel their restaurants.

But the results were disappointing. In the second quarter, U.S. sales at established stores fell 1.5 percent. It also recently reported its worst monthly sales in more than a decade. During a call with analysts last month, Chief Executive Don Thompson said the company is looking to improve service and simplify the menu.

Andres joins McDonald’s after running Logan’s Roadhouse Inc. Prior to that stint, Andres spent 30 years at McDonald’s in a variety of executive roles, including running Boston Market when it was a subsidiary. He started as a manager for his family-owned McDonald’s in Northern California. Before he left McDonald’s in 2012, he was president of the central division in the U.S. operations.

Stratton, 58, became president of McDonald’s USA in November of 2012, tasked with boosting lagging sales. He had previously been responsible for design, operations, performance, training and security for the chain’s nearly 34,000 restaurants.

Stratton’s team oversaw the redesign of the majority of the chain’s 14,000 restaurants to make room for the McCafe beverage program, which has added $1 billion in sales annually.

Stratton began his career at McDonald’s as a teenager behind the counter in a Detroit restaurant 40 years ago, making $1.60 an hour. He held a variety of positions in the U.S. market before being named president of its West division in 2001. He was soon named chief restaurant officer for McDonald’s USA, and took over the global position in 2005.