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20 Things You Didn't Know About Chris Kempczinski

chris kempczinski

Chris Kempczinski is an American businessman who has recently been named as the new CEO of McDonalds. He has also worked for other major food and beverage companies such as Pepsi and Kraft throughout his career. Here are twenty things about him that you may not know.

1. He Was Born In Cincinnati, Ohio

Chris Kempczinski was born and raised in Cincinnati, Ohio. He is the son of Ann Marie Kempczinski who was a kindergarten teacher. His father was Richard Kempczinski who was a highly respected surgeon who worked at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center. He attended Indian Hills High School which is located in the suburbs of Cincinnati.

2. He Started His Career With Procter & Gamble

According to Wikipedia his first job after graduating from Duke University was with Procter & Gamble. He worked there for four years in the soap sector of the company and his role was focused on brand management. The headquarters of the company are in Cincinnati and so he was able to work here while still remaining close to his family. Procter & Gamble have many different business interests today, but back in the early 1990s the soap sector was one of the best known aspects of their business.

3. He Attended Harvard Business School

He left Proctor & Gamble to attend Harvard Business School where he gained his MBA. The school still covers stories about Kempczinski to this day. He felt that going back to school at this point was the best thing for his career. He gained his MBA in business administration and this gave him a broader understanding of the business world as a whole. He has worked with fellow Harvard graduates during his time at McDonald's including Kristy Cunningham and Morgan Flatley.

4. He Doesn't Own Any Shares In McDonalds

Bloomberg reports that Kempczinski did not own any shares in McDonalds when he became CEO. It is a generally accepted rule in business that CEOs need to own shares in the business that they are running in order to give investors confidence. There is a requirement for the CEO to hold a certain number of shares and so this is something he will have to abide by. However, he will be given enough time to buy all the shares that he needs so he does not find himself in financial difficulty.

5. The Shares That He Did Own Were Sold For $4.4 Million

At an earlier stage of his career with McDonald's he did own some shares in the company, but these were sold before he became CEO. He was required to declare the amount that these shares were sold for and this amounted to more than $4 million. This money made a big difference to his net worth, but in hindsight he may not have sold them if he knew that he would be made CEO of the company so soon.

6. He Is Married With Two Children

There are not a lot of details that are known about Kempczinski's private life, but it is known that he is married and has two children. His wife is named Heather Kempczinski. There are not a lot of details available about when the couple were married, or how old his children are. His new role as CEO may put him in the spotlight more than any of his previous roles, but he may still want to keep his family protected from media intrusion as much as possible.

7. He Worked For McDonald's For Four Years Before Becoming CEO

Kempczinski joined McDonald's in 2015 as part of their global strategy team. He then received a promotion in the following year to become president of their USA operations. During his time in this role he oversaw the 14,000 restaurants that McDonald's has in the United States. A large part of his role was the modernization of the chain which included mobile ordering and self service points that give customers the option of having their order served to their table.

8. He Has An Estimated Net Worth Of $15 Million

According to Dreshare, Kempczinski has a net worth of $15 million. This is likely to increase fairly substantially if he remains in the position of CEO for some time. The vast amount of this wealth comes from the salaries he has earned during his various roles for companies such as Pepsi and Kraft, as well as McDonald's. He has only ever worked for multinational companies throughout his career and the roles that he has had within these companies would have been very well paid.

9. He Will Receive An Annual Salary Of $1.25 Million As McDonald's CEO

His annual salary as CEO of McDonald's will be in the region of $1.25 million. This could increase when bonuses are taken into account. This is a fairly generous package as it is slightly above average for CEOs in the United States. In addition to the salary, there will also be a benefits package but the details of this have not been released.

10. He Was Something Of A Surprise Appointment In The Role Of CEO

There were some people in the business world that were surprised when Kempczinski was named as the new CEO of McDonald's. Although he was already working for the company, he had only been with the business for four years, and most CEOs tend to work for their companies a lot longer than this. He also had limited experience in management, as his other roles tended to be a bit more hands-on.

11. He Is Being Replaced In His Role As President By Joseph M. Erlinger

Baking Business have revealed that Joseph M. Erlinger will replace Kempczinski as President of McDonalds in the United States. His previous role was as President of international business. This required him to spend a lot of time overseas and so he may not have interacted with Kempczinski much in the past. However, the two men will be working together more closely in their new roles.

12. His Business Background Is In Marketing

A lot of his experience in business to date has been in marketing. His first job at Proctor & Gamble was in brand management which involved working to raise the profile of the brand. He initially joined Pepsi as part of the strategy and development group before moving on to become Vice President of Marketing. Although the work that he is doing now is not related to marketing as such, a good knowledge of the things that people are looking for in a business can help him decide on the strategies that he wants to follow as CEO.

13. He Does Not Plan To Change The Direction Of The Company Too Much

He does not see the need to change the direction that the company is going. They have carried out a lot of work in recent years in order to try and be more competitive in the fast food market. Kempczinski's predecessor Steve Easterbrook had a clear plan for how he wanted the company to progress and this is a plan that will more or less be followed. However, there are some things that he may want to put his own stamp on, but he has been in business long enough to know that there is no point changing things that are working just for the sake of it.

14. He Currently Lives In New York

The company headquarters of McDonald's is based in Chicago, but Kempczinski lives in New York. This may not be too much of an issue as it is expected that he will spend a lot of time in his new role traveling anyway. There must have been some consideration about the logistics of taking on this role before he accepted the job and so it should be expected that there is some way of making it work.

15. There Will Be Some Challenges That He Faces In His Role As CEO

McDonald's as a business is facing some challenges at the moment, and this is something that he will have to deal with in his new role. They have been losing some of their market share to long established companies such as Burger King and Taco Bell, and this is something he is going to want to reverse. He has been working with franchisees to encourage them to make investments in their restaurants and this is not something that has always gone down that well. However, he will now need these franchisees on side if he is going to succeed in his role as CEO.

16. He Is Now Also On The Board Of Directors At McDonalds

As part of his role as CEO, he is also required to serve on the Board of Directors. This is standard practice in business as the CEO and the rest of the board need to work closely together. The board will need to agree on all the decisions that Kempczinski makes and so they need to have a good working relationship. The board also needs to feel comfortable enough to challenge the CEO when they feel as if the idea they are putting forward is not going to be best for the business. Having the CEO as part of the board means that this kind of two-way relationship has chance to develop.

17. He Will Be Working With Company Restaurants And Franchises

As well as the restaurants that McDonald's owns, they also make some of their restaurants available for franchisees to purchase. This policy is in operation all over the world but is particularly prevalent in the United States. The people that own the franchise will be able to retain the profits, but they still need to operate the business in the way that McDonald's tell them to. In the past this has led to a bit of conflict because the owners are not always convinced that the things they are asked to implement will actually be good for their business. Kempczinski has found himself at odds with the franchisees before when he was President of USA Operations but this is a relationship that he will now have to try and repair.

18. He Made A Video For Franchisees When He Became CEO

Bloomberg News have seen a video that Kempczinski made for franchisees just a few days after he was named CEO. He has not had the closest relationship with franchisees in the past and so it was important for the business that he re-iterated he was still committed to working closely with them even though he is now CEO. This was the main aim of the video but it also had the added bonus of reassuring investors about the future of the company, as Kempczinski also talked about his immediate plans now that he is CEO.

19. He Will Be Responsible For 210,000 Employees Globally

McDonald's employs over 200,000 worldwide and the decisions that Kempczinski makes as CEO will affect all of them. This is the first time that he has had this many people working underneath him but it is a responsibility that he must be happy to take on. His new role may involve traveling to visit restaurants throughout the United States and beyond and so this will give him a chance to meet some of these employees and listen to their concerns.

20. He Wants McDonald's To Grow Under His Leadership

A large part of his focus during the time he spent at McDonald's before he became CEO was trying to ensure that the company is bought up to date and can compete in the current market. This is something that he still intends to work on now that he is CEO. The target for the business is 4% growth in the coming years and this is something he believes that the company can achieve. He has made it clear that he has taken this job in order to move the business forward and to build on the work that the company has already started to do in the past few years.

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Allen Lee

Written by Allen Lee

Allen Lee is a Toronto-based freelance writer who studied business in school but has since turned to other pursuits. He spends more time than is perhaps wise with his eyes fixed on a screen either reading history books, keeping up with international news, or playing the latest releases on the Steam platform, which serve as the subject matter for much of his writing output. Currently, Lee is practicing the smidgen of Chinese that he picked up while visiting the Chinese mainland in hopes of someday being able to read certain historical texts in their original language.

Read more posts by Allen Lee

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