McDonald's CEO steps down to fight cancer

Investors of the world's biggest &to=' target=_blank>hamburger chain believe the giant's turnround will continue under new team.

The world's biggest hamburger chain on Monday night said Mr Bell was stepping down immediately to focus on fighting cancer, with which he was diagnosed in May.

Jim Skinner, a 33-year McDonald's veteran and current vice-chairman, was named as his successor. Mike Roberts was named president and chief operating officer, creating a new partnership at the head of the company, reports Financial Times.

According to The New York Times, the company's stock, in turn, has been steadily rising since early 2003, when Mr. Cantalupo took over. It was up 72 cents yesterday to close at $30.10.

"They're going with the tried and true," said Don Stuart, a partner with Cannondale Associates, a food industry consulting firm. Many of McDonald's franchisees were heartened by the appointment of a new chief executive. Accustomed to receiving monthly e-mail or voice-mail messages from the chief executive, they had not heard from Mr. Bell in months. In one of the few recent communications from him, he apologized in a voice-mail message for his voice being "a bit weak." The company also named Mike Roberts, currently chief executive of McDonald's USA, as chief operating officer.

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