No. 8 Michael Roberts (President and COO): McDonald’s
The sudden departure of McDonald’s number two man, Michael Roberts, stunned his former colleagues at the company. Roberts spent 29 years at the Golden Arches; he graduated from McDonald’s Hamburger University and worked his way up the ladder from a regional purchasing manager to become the heir to the CEO position. Roberts’ abrupt resignation is rumored to stem from his demand for a larger role in the company. Since Roberts was promoted to his position of President/COO in 2004, McDonald’s has performed well, with the stock appreciating more than 20%. In today’s fast-changing rules for fast-food companies, strong leadership will be needed to sustain those returns in the future. Also, the new appetite for healthier and organic alternatives may put the “McSqueeze” on McDonald’s recovering reputation.