Centennial Bios: Chicago

Jim Skinner
- Keynote Speaker
Vice Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, McDonalds

As McDonald’s Vice Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Jim Skinner leads the world’s largest food service company with more than 31,000 restaurants in 118 countries. McDonald’s serves 56 million customers each day and employs 1.6 million people across the globe in corporate and restaurant positions.

Skinner is one of the three architects of McDonald’s worldwide revitalization plan launched in 2003 that turned the company around and re-focused on customer strategies, business disciplines and close global alignment.

Upon becoming CEO in 2004, Skinner set three top priorities for his leadership: long-term sustainable growth for the company; talent management and leadership development; and promoting balanced active lifestyles.

In 2007, Dow Jones/Marketwatch named Skinner “CEO of the Year,” and Restaurants & Institutions magazine bestowed him “2007 Executive of the Year.” In 2008, Skinner was named one of “America’s Best CEOs” by Institutional Investor magazine.

After serving nearly ten years in the United States Navy, Skinner began his career with McDonald’s as a restaurant manager trainee in Carpentersville, Illinois in 1971, and since then has held numerous leadership positions. Prior to being named CEO, Skinner served as Vice Chairman of McDonald's Corporation, and had management responsibility for Asia-Pacific, Middle East and Africa (APMEA), and Latin America, in addition to overseeing most corporate staff functions. Since the beginning of 2003, he was accountable for McDonald’s Japan Limited, McDonald’s second-largest market with nearly 4,000 restaurants.

Before becoming Vice Chairman, he served as President and Chief Operating Officer of the McDonald’s Restaurant Group, with operating leadership for all of the company’s global restaurants. Prior to that, Skinner served as President and Chief Operating Officer of McDonald's - Europe, Asia, Pacific and Middle East, with management responsibilities for the nearly 12,500 restaurants operating in those geographic sectors.

From 1997 to 2001, Skinner was President of McDonald's Europe, and previously he was Executive Vice President and International Relationship Partner for Central Europe, Middle East, Africa, and India from 1995 to 1997.

Skinner joined McDonald's International management team in 1992 as Senior Vice President and Relationship Partner, overseeing McDonald's development in Central Europe, Middle East, Africa, and India.

He also held numerous positions in the McDonald’s U.S. company, including Director of Field Operations, Market Manager, Regional Vice President and U.S. Senior Vice President and Zone Manager.

 In addition, he has twice served as an Advisory Director to McDonald's Corporation's Board of Directors. Currently, Skinner serves on the Board of McDonald's Corporation, Ronald McDonald House Charities, the Walgreen Company and ITW (Illinois Tool Works).