Market Overview

Brian Sozzi Knows Why McDonald's Showed Its Embattled CEO The Door


McDonald's Corporation (NYSE: MCD) announced on Wednesday evening that its Chairman and CEO Don Thompson will retire on March 1 after less than three years on the job. Steve Easterbrook, the company's chief brand officer, will assume top ranks.

Brian Sozzi of Belus Capital Advisers wrote in an article on The Street that Thomson was too slow in initiating the necessary changes to adapt to changing consumer preferences, leading to the executive “being shown the door.”

“Numerous examples of McDonald's being loath to deviate too far from its burger and fry slinging history -- one Thompson knew well as a former McDonald's engineer who arrived in 1990 -- dotted the company's performance last year,” Sozzi wrote. “And it ultimately led to 14% and 11% declines, respectively, in earnings per share in the fourth quarter and full year, an embarrassment to a business that prided itself on financial consistency.”

Sozzi noted that McDonald's restaurant peers including Domino's Pizza (NYSE: DPZ) and Starbucks Corporation (NASDAQ: SBUX) have embraced technological innovation. Meanwhile, Thompson admitted during the company's fourth-quarter conference call that “one of the things that we've not leveraged strongly has been the whole digital-engagement aspect.”

Sozzi did write in an email that the decision likely came as a surprise to Thompson, who just recently lead the earnings call. However, in his article, Sozzi mentioned that a McDonald's spokeswoman told him that the decision came at a regularly scheduled board meeting.

Latest Ratings for MCD

Jan 2021OppenheimerUpgradesPerformOutperform
Jan 2021Stephens & Co.MaintainsEqual-Weight
Jan 2021WedbushInitiates Coverage OnOutperform

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Posted-In: Belus Capital Advisers Brian Sozzi Don Thimpson McDonald's Steve EasterbrookAnalyst Color Management Analyst Ratings

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