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Cantalupo, who took charge of McDonald's International in 1987 when the System had nearly 2,350 restaurants outside the United States, will retire next spring with the international restaurant count surpassing 15,000 in 120 countries.
"Jim Cantalupo has been a driving force and the chief builder for the greatest global retail business structure ever developed,'' said Jack Greenberg, chairman and CEO. "His achievements at McDonald's are legendary, and literally each of the 1.5 million members of the McDonald's family owes him a debt of gratitude.''
Cantalupo joined McDonald's as controller in 1974. He was promoted to vice president in 1975 and senior vice president in 1981. Throughout his restaurant operations career, he served as a district manager for the Chicago Region, a zone manager for the northeastern United States, chairman and CEO of McDonald's International, and vice chairman of McDonald's Corporation. He was appointed to McDonald's Board of Directors in 1987, and in 1999, he was named vice chairman and president of McDonald's Corporation.
"In terms of his decision, Jim has been thinking about this retirement time frame for some time,'' Greenberg said. "I'm very gratified that when I asked him to stay on for awhile longer to work through this challenging business climate and transition our new leaders, he agreed without hesitation.''
Cantalupo said he will spend his time working on transition issues and creating strong relationships between the new management team and key company partners, franchisees, and suppliers throughout the world. He will conclude his years of service at the 2002 Owner/Operator Convention next Spring.
"I have accomplished more than I ever could have imagined in my career at McDonald's,'' said Cantalupo. "And now I'm looking forward to spending more of my time mentoring the next generation of McDonald's leadership. We have a great company, with a great future, and I'm extremely proud of the role I've played in getting us to this point. The most rewarding part of my time with McDonald's has been the opportunity to work with so many talented men and women who will now take McDonald's to even greater heights.''
Cantalupo will stay very active professionally, serving as a director on several boards, including McDonald's, Sears Roebuck and Company, Rohm and Haas Company, the Chicago Council of Foreign Relations, the Mid-America Committee, and World Business Chicago. He is also a board member and past president of the International Federation of the Multiple Sclerosis Society and the National Multiple Sclerosis Society - Chicago Chapter, and a trustee of Ronald McDonald House Charities.
"McDonald's has been an incredible chapter in my life. I've always said I had the best job in American business—taking a great concept like McDonald's around the world, and seeing it become the best known brand in the world,'' Cantalupo said. "Now my family and I are anxious to see how the rest of our book unfolds.''