December 10, 2014

Where Does the Buck Stop at McDonald's?

Anonymous commenters often put all the blame on Don Thompson but the problem
could also be an antiquated board of directors. Fortune does a great job of looking at
board member's ages, tenures, and cross-connections.

Where does the buck stop at McDonald's? Look no further than the board.


Anonymous said...

I might be naive but the board really is only responsible for a very small part of McDonald’s problems today? I agree they are a mid-western old tired group of directors but aren’t they there more for guidance in the financial realms of a big corporation such as McDonald’s and decisions such as that?

It is so obvious what our problems our, “the food” the perception of the food, over bloated menu with products that don’t sell, new products that don’t appeal to today’s customers; my gosh it is not that complicated. McDonald’s needs to have an overall value but we have ruined that too by overpricing products to compensate for a poorly thought out value menu strategy and McDonald’s taking a bigger piece of the pie over the years forcing franchisees to raise prices on items. I really don’t get it every meeting I go McDonald’s talks about everything but the food just new programs, equipment that are just time & money wasters that have no or very little ROI. McDonald’s can say it is our operations, friendliness of the service etc. etc. and of course all that matters but you go to a restaurant first and foremost for the food.

I hate to say it but at the end of the day Mr. Thompson has put people in charge of areas, departments etc. that have screwed this company up worse under his watch. McDonald’s being big as it is has a lot of talent but the culture is no one can speak up, give an opinion, be a true leader or give constructive feedback because you are then labeled not on the program.

Bottom-line work on the food, fix the menu, get rid of all the nonsense mystery shops, programs etc. etc. which are just time wasters from running the restaurants and have open dialogue & listen to operators and staff that actually operate and work in the restaurants and talk with our customers not information you get from third party suppliers, focus groups etc.

Anonymous said...

Well said! "Bottom line work on the Food"
For all who remember when the "ship" had to be turned at this magnitude (2001). The first place they started was with the Operators who did nothing in their stores and operations. The stores today are at the highest caliber in every aspect of QSCV and Store Managers are engaged more than ever with the bemoaned RDM program. The Stores have been contemporized even ones that did not need it. So with that being said, its the FOOD, its the PERCEPTION, Its POOR decisions at the top, and it is making many operators want to jump ship before they completely loose all equity or make investments that will make them "indenture servants" for the next 10 years. This era in time is completely different then 2001 and Wall Street is starting to see that

Anonymous said...

The "Buck" does stop with the "Board of Directors" there is no question about that fact. However, their leadership and direction to management has never been very direct or strong. Converserly there has been time after time where management has told the Board what to do and how to act. There was a time where the Board at the direction of management allowed our FOOD to take a backseat to our "Happy Meal Toys". customers were giving the food to the dog and the toys to their kids. They were coming to MCD for our toys!! It seemed to be just fine with the board while the operators were pointing out that this was leading to a serious problem with our perception as a restaurant company. Over the years it has always been thought that the MCD Board and MCD top management were a bit too close making hard objective decisions by the board harder than they should have been. How many children of MCD Executives have or had high paying jobs with companies owned or run by MCD Board members? I'm not one to just fire people to fire people but changes are necessary in leadership at the Board level, Top Management and in the Regions. Our problems are real they are not just going to go away much of them are self inflected and a lot are coming from smart competitors. Someone needs to do something!!!

Richard Adams said...

Of course, when things are going well the board can be somewhat inconsequential. When a
company hits a rough patch the board needs to come out of hiding. McDonald's veterans
will remember how ineffectual the board was when Jack Greenberg was trying to hold on to power. If they are that passive this time things could get much, much worse.

You make a great point about children of McDonald's corporate employees working for suppliers/board members. Add to that the number of former company employees now working for suppliers. Independent directors?...kind of a joke.

Anonymous said...

McDonalds is DYING, destined to join bowling alleys, Howard Johnsons, and Radio Shack on the ash heap of history....................