McDonald’s European chief to run Accor Hotels

By Emily Bryson York
Posted Nov. 3, 2010 at 11:24 a.m.

McDonald’s announced today that European president Denis Hennequin will resign to become Chief Executive Officer of the Accor Hotel Group. His departure will be effective at the end of the month.

Before Don Thompson’s promotion to president and chief operating officer early this year, Hennequin was considered to be a dark horse candidate for the position, which is widely considered to be CEO-in-waiting. Jim Skinner, the current CEO, is 66.

“Denis’ leadership made a tangible difference in our key segment of Europe,” Skinner said in a statement.  ”The European team’s dedication to our Plan to Win business strategy elevated the restaurant experience for our customers. We wish Denis well in his new role at Accor.”

As President of McDonald’s Europe, Hennequin was charged with responsibility for more than 6,800 McDonald’s restaurants in 39 European countries. The region accounted $9.3 billion in revenues for McDonald’s in 2009.

Hennequin started at McDonald’s in 1984 as assistant store manager, eventually moving to field service.  Twelve years later, Hennequin was named president and managing director for McDonald’s France. He was later appointed executive vice president for McDonald’s Europe, before becoming President in 2005.

“We appreciate Denis’ energy and passion for our Brand,” Thompson said in a statement. “Our customers and our crew in Europe will continue to benefit from the momentum he helped to drive.”

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