Don Thompson was appointed president and chief executive officer of McDonalds, the world’s largest restaurant chain. When he takes office in July, he will be the first African American CEO of the company.
Thompson has been with McDonald’s for 22 years.
Thompson received his bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from Purdue University in 1984. Soon afterward he received a message from a recruiter who Thompson thought was representing McDonnell Douglas, the aircraft manufacturer. Instead, the recruiter was seeking applicants for McDonald’s management training program. In any event, Thompson decided to change career paths and he has moved quickly up the corporate ladder at the fast-food company.
In 2008, Thompson received an honorary doctorate degree from Excelsior College in Albany, New York. In 2009 he was appointed to the board of trustees of Purdue University.