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    McDonalds CEO Announces ‘Turn Around’ Plan for Fast Food Giant

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    McDonalds will reorganize and expand its market segments in an attempt to increase refranchising efforts and return billions of dollars to shareholders, McDonalds CEO Steve Easterbrook announced said in a statement on Monday.

    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — Easterbrook explained that starting on July 1, 2015, McDonalds will restructure into four new segments that will target markets with “similar needs, challenges and opportunities for growth.”

    "As we look to shape McDonald's future as a modern, progressive burger company, our priorities are threefold — driving operational growth, returning excitement to our brand and unlocking financial value."

    The four market segments will include the United States, which accounts for about 40 percent of the company’s operating income; established International Lead Markets, which include countries like Australia, France, Canada and Germany; High-Growth Markets, which are poised for higher franchising and restaurant expansion in Russia, China, Poland and South Korea; and Foundational Markets, where remaining markets hold potential to operate under franchised models.

    "The first critical step of our operational growth-led plan is to strengthen our effectiveness and efficiency to drive faster and more customer-led decisions," Easterbrook said.

    As part of McDonald’s restructuring strategy, the company expects to refranchise 3,500 restaurants by the end of 2018, deliver about $300 million in its net annual general and administrative savings by 2017, as well as return up to $9 billion to its shareholders in 2015.

    Although the burger chain is one of the largest fast food restaurants in the world, McDonalds has been losing customers in the United States as rivals fast food chains such a Chipotle Mexican Grill have begun offering more appealing and healthier menus to customers.

    At the beginning of 2015, McDonalds announced that the company had seen a steady decline in same-store sales in the United States, and warned that business would be weak in the first half of the year.

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