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    McDonald's President and COO to Retire

    Ralph Alvarez cites health reasons for stepping down from his role.

    OAK BROOK, Ill. -- Ralph Alvarez, president and COO of McDonald's Corp. will retire for health reasons and will step down from his roles as an executive and as a board member effective Dec. 31, according to a Bloomberg News report.

    "Seven orthopedic surgeries and years of chronic pain culminating in two total knee replacements in the past six months have made me realize it's time to move on," Alvarez said in the statement.

    Alvarez joined McDonald's in 1994 and served as COO since August 2006. He was also president of McDonald's North American and U.S. businesses, where he was responsible for 15,000 restaurants and led the introduction of products such as a $1.29 snack-size chicken wrap and an Asian salad, the report stated.

    The company has no plans at this time to name a new COO, said Walt Riker, a McDonald's spokesman. The company's regional executives will report directly to Jim Skinner, CEO of McDonald's, he said.

    Skinner took over as CEO in late 2004 when Charles Bell retired to battle colorectal cancer. Bell, who died two months later, had succeeded James Cantalupo, who died of a heart attack in April 2004, Bloomberg.com reported.

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