News Column

McDonald's Japan to tap Canadian as new president of holding company

February 18, 2014

TOKYO, Feb. 19 -- (Kyodo) _ McDonald's Holdings Co. (Japan) said Wednesday it will appoint as its new leader Sarah Casanova, a Canadian woman who is president of its operating company McDonald's Co. (Japan).

By tapping Casanova, 48, to be the president and chief executive officer at both the Japanese holding and operating companies of the worldwide burger chain, Eiko Harada will take the post of chairman of the holding company and effectively retire from the management.

The changes will be finalized after the shareholders' meeting slated for March 25 and a subsequent executive board meeting.

Last August, Harada, 65, handed over the duties of president and CEO of the operating company to Casanova, who served as regional manager of McDonald's Malaysia and Singapore operations. McDonald's Holdings is banking on Casanova's extensive global experience to strengthen the management.

Harada said in a statement that he is "confident" that Casanova can develop the business of the Japanese unit in cooperation with McDonald's overseas operations.

Harada has been part of the management since becoming vice chairman and CEO of the holding company in 2004 after leaving his post as Apple Japan Inc. president. He later assumed the posts of president at the holding and operating companies to lead the group.

The announcement of the new executive lineup comes at a time the holding company is experiencing sluggish sales partly due to tough competition from convenience stories, which are boosting their customer base by offering more take-home products such as food items and coffee.

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Source: Japan Economic Newswire

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