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Former UK boss to head McDonald's

Former McDonald's UK boss Steve Easterbrook is to become the fast food giant's new president and chief executive.

Mr Easterbrook, currently chief brand officer and a senior executive vice president, who has led efforts related to marketing and menus, succeeds Don Thompson, who has headed the company for about two and a half years.

His appointment comes as the world's biggest burger chain faces slumping sales in the US.

McDonald's has been dealing with intense competition and changing consumer tastes. Earlier this month it reported falling earnings and sales for its fourth quarter and said it was going to take action this year to save money and bring back customers. This includes slowing down new restaurant openings in some markets. It is also making menu changes.

Mr Thompson will retire on March 1 after nearly 25 years with the Oak Brook, Illinois-based company.

In after-hours trading, company shares jumped 3% to 91.55 dollars. The stock has declined about 6% in the past year while broader markets are up in the double digits.

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