Industry News | January 8, 2003

Russ Smyth Named President of McDonald's Europe

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McDonald's chairman and chief executive officer Jim Cantalupo continued to build his management team with the appointment yesterday of Russ Smyth as president of McDonald's Europe.

Smyth, 46, has extensive worldwide McDonald's management experience in Asia, Latin America and Europe.

Commenting on Smyth's appointment, Jim Cantalupo said, "I am absolutely confident about McDonald's future because I know the strength of our brand and the depth of our management talent. Russ Smyth will do a great job with a relentless focus on customers and restaurant operations, decisive action, cost controls and maximizing growth opportunities."

Leading the management team in Europe, Smyth will succeed Charlie Bell, who was recently named by Cantalupo as president and chief operating officer for McDonald's Corporation. Russ will report directly to Charlie Bell.

"With his significant international operations experience, coupled with a strong background in finance, Russ is ideally qualified to take on this role as president of Europe," said Bell. "Russ understands what our brand is all about—the customer's experience is always foremost in his mind."

Most recently, Smyth was president, McDonald's Partner Brands. Prior to directing the Partner Brands team, Smyth served as senior vice president, International Relationship Partner for Southeast and Central Asia. Previously, he managed McDonald's business as vice president of the Latin America Group. Smyth joined McDonald's in 1984 and also worked 13 years in a variety of financial and accounting positions, including European controller, where he was responsible for overseeing accounting and finance functions. From there, he was promoted to international controller, overseeing all finance functions outside the U.S.