Chief Executive Magazine Names McDonald’s CEO Jim Skinner “CEO of the Year”

Jim Skinner, former CEO of McDonald’s

Chief Executive magazine today announced Jim Skinner, CEO, McDonald’s Corporation, has been named “2009 CEO of the Year.” Skinner’s award was a unanimous decision by the selection panel, chaired by Anne Mulcahy, CEO, Xerox Corporation, Chief Executive magazine’s “2008 CEO of the Year.”

Chief Executive magazine’s “CEO of the Year Award” is a prestigious honor presented to an outstanding corporate leader, nominated and selected by a group of peers for their exemplary vision and execution. The Award was inaugurated in 1986 and has been given out every year since then.

Skinner joins an impressive group of past winners, including Anne Mulcahy, Bob Ulrich, CEO of Target, and A.G. Lafley, CEO of Procter & Gamble. Skinner will be presented with the CEO of the Year award at a dinner at the New York Stock Exchange on July 30, 2009.

“Skinner successfully transformed an iconic brand by shifting strategies to being better versus bigger and introducing a range of quality enhancements from introducing new, healthier menu options to the innovative redesign of restaurants,” said J.P. Donlon, Editor-in-Chief of Chief Executive magazine. “He has been respectful of McDonald’s legacy while engineering an inspirational strategic leadership that re-invented the industry. He’s a remarkable leader in all facets, and we are happy to name him the 24th CEO of the Year.”

Skinner and his executive team have delivered exceptional results, since his appointment in 2004, McDonald’s worldwide restaurant sales have increased from $50.1 billion to $70.1 billion in 2008, up 41.1 percent. Last year the company far outperformed its competitors and was one of only two DJIA stocks that ended 2008 with a gain.

Skinner started as crew at McDonald’s at age 17. He later became a manager trainee in 1971 and was named CEO in November 2004. e was an integral part of the management team prior to his taking over the lead post, and worked with past CEOs Jim Cantalupo and Charlie Bell to create McDonald’s “Plan to Win” strategy, which called for jettisoning non-core businesses and concentrating on Brand McDonald’s.

Under his leadership, rather than making new openings its business priority, the company focused intensely on attracting more customers to its existing restaurants. In addition, the company expanded its menu offerings by adding more fruits, vegetables and chicken onto its popular menu and significantly improving customer service.

“At McDonald’s, leadership is driven by putting the right people in the right places,” said Skinner. “Our goal is always to provide a better experience for our customers and this award is a testament to our collective success in achieving this goal.”

Skinner was awarded the CEO of the Year by a panel comprised of peer CEOs, including:

  • Ann Mulcahy, CEO, Xerox
  • Jim Turley, CEO, Ernst & Young
  • Bill Nuti, CEO, NCR
  • Fred Hassan, CEO, Schering-Plough
  • Jeffery Sonnenfeld, CEO, CEO Leadership Institute, Yale University
  • Steve Odland, CEO, Office Depot
  • Tom Quinlan, CEO, RR Donnelley
  • Bill Hickey, CEO, Sealed Air
  • Ed Ludwig, CEO, Becton Dickinson

Past Five CEO of the Year Award Winners:

  • 2008 – Anne Mulcahy, Xerox
  • 2007 – Bob Ulrich, Target
  • 2006 – A.G.Lafley, Procter & Gamble
  • 2005 – George David, United Technologies
  • 2004 – Fred Smith , FedEx


  • Get the CEO Briefing

    Sign up today to get weekly access to the latest issues affecting CEOs in every industry
  • upcoming events


    Strategic Planning Workshop

    1:00 - 5:00 pm

    We are in a period of rapid change. Customer needs, technologies, competitors and internal capabilities require companies to review and update their strategies for the new realities. In this workshop, strategy experts Steve Rutan and Denise Harrison will show you a systematic approach to strategic planning to help you refine or redefine your business strategy and approach including:

    • Learn what you need to know to develop an effective strategic plan. Put the right players on the strategic planning team.
    • Develop strategies that leverage your company’s unique position in the marketplace. Lift your management team beyond “business as usual” thought processes and activities.
    • Translate your strategies into action. Achieve your vision for success and generate superior financial results.
    • Identify exactly what you need to do now to position your company for future success.

    To sign up, select this option in your registration form. Additional fee of $695 will be added to your total.

    New York, NY: ​​​Chief Executive's Corporate Citizenship Awards 2017

    Women in Leadership Seminar and Peer Discussion

    2:00 - 5:00 pm

    Female leaders face the same issues all leaders do, but they often face additional challenges too. In this peer session, we will facilitate a discussion of best practices and how to overcome common barriers to help women leaders be more effective within and outside their organizations. 

    Limited space available.

    To sign up, select this option in your registration form. Additional fee of $495 will be added to your total.

    Golf Outing

    10:30 - 5:00 pm
    General’s Retreat at Hermitage Golf Course
    Sponsored by UBS

    General’s Retreat, built in 1986 with architect Gary Roger Baird, has been voted the “Best Golf Course in Nashville” and is a “must play” when visiting the Nashville, Tennessee area. With the beautiful setting along the Cumberland River, golfers of all capabilities will thoroughly enjoy the golf, scenery and hospitality.

    The golf outing fee includes transportation to and from the hotel, greens/cart fees, use of practice facilities, and boxed lunch. The bus will leave the hotel at 10:30 am for a noon shotgun start and return to the hotel after the cocktail reception following the completion of the round.

    To sign up, select this option in your registration form. Additional fee of $295 will be added to your total.