Now that McDonald’s Has a Black CEO, Will This Mean Healthier Food for the Black Community?

CEO Don Thompson takes the helm of McDonald's on July 1. thegrio.com writer Dr. Terrance McGill asks if Mickey D's will now change how it markets to our community

Don Thompson, currently McDonald’s president and chief operating officer, starts as chief executive officer of the company on July 1 of this year.

For the first time in its history, McDonald’s will have an African-American CEO. Will this change in leadership mean a change in the company’s marketing and health initiatives in the African-American community?

McDonald’s African-American customers bring in nearly 18 percent of the restaurant’s sales. Yet, with higher rates of obesity, diabetes and high blood pressure, some wonder if Thompson has an added responsibility to these customers.

The corporation argues that they have already put health initiatives into motion, preceding Thompson’s arrival as CEO.

“Don Thompson will continue to champion our company’s long-standing commitment to promoting balanced, active lifestyles in all of the communities where we have restaurants,” says Heidi Barker Sa Shakem, Vice President of the Global External Communications at McDonald’s.

Despite McDonald’s position as the number one fast food company in the world, its restaurants have changed their menus in light of rising obesity numbers, and the rise of Subway — a competing fast food company — which promotes a menu with healthier fast food options.

But what does this mean for us? Read more at thegrio.com

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  • BMCK

    Seems like an unfair question to pose given he hasen’t even started yet (besides McDonald’s has already made some steps toward adding healthier choices such as bottled water, grilled chicken sandwich, several different salads, fruit cup etc). Truth is WE ALL NEED TO BE MORE RESPONSIBLE FOR OUR OWN FOOD CHOICES AND ALSO TO COMMIT OURSELVES TO MORE EXERCISE. I’m just so proud of and celebratory that such a major global corporation will soon be headed by an African American, who I understand worked his way up and once resided in a public housing project as a kid…..NOW he will be McDonald’s first African American CEO. Such an inspiring accomplishment which speeks to hard work, perseverance & also says a lot about McDonald’s and its TRUE stance for diversity. I wish Mr. Thompson all the luck in the world and just glad that I can now point to Mr. Thomspon as a corporate success story to my own college-age son and other young minorities so that they know IT’S POSSIBLE.

  • WALTER WEBB / FREELANCE WRITER

    CONGRADULATIONS TO DON THOMPSON ON HIS NEW ROLE AS CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER OF MCDONALDS (MCD) RESTAURANT. ONE THING HE CAN LOOK FORWARD TO IS THE QUESTION OF BALANCING MCDONALDS GROWTH THE COMPANIES OVER $400 DOLLARS PER SHARE SUBSIDIARY CHIPOTLE MEXICAN RESTAURANT (CMG)? THAT’S NOT GOING TO BE EASY WITH COMPETITION FROM JOB FAIR ORIENTED STARBUCKS COFFEE (SBUX), WENDY’ (WEN), AND JACK IN THE BOX (JACK) FAST FOODS.