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January 16, 2003, 2:41 p.m. ET

McDonald's New CEO Has Global Turnaround Strategy
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By R I C H A R D | Dow Jones G I B Newswires S O N

DES MOINES, Iowa -- McDonald's Corp.'s MCD +0.36% new chiefexecutive said Thursday he would limit restaurant growth world-wide and fix marketing plans as part of his strategy to "right the ship" of the fast-food giant. Chairman and Chief Executive Jim Cantalupo also endorsed McDonald's controversial Dollar Menu, but said the company is reviewing whether its premium sandwiches, such as its Big N'Tasty hamburger, should be on it. He plans to include the company's current share-buyback program in his review of current practices. McDonald's also will join the list of companies eliminating quarterly earnings guidance since Coca-Cola Co. KO -0.49% said in December itwould stop giving guidance to focus investors on the company's longer-term goals. McDonald's has been struggling recently amid a fast-food price war. Last month, it warned that it would post its first quarterly loss since going public 37 years ago. A management shakeup has been aimed at solving some of those problems. President and Chief Operating Officer Charlie Bell said the new management team was being driven by a realization that "we need to become more relevant." Addressing Wall Street's debate over whether McDonald's is a growth vehicle or a cash cow, Mr. Cantalupo said the company is "focused on growth" rather than being a cash cow, adding that growth means "not just new units but growth in existing restaurants." He said that, while capital spending would remain the same as last year, the company will sharply limit restaurant growth this year. Only nine countries will get more than 10 new stores, he said.

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