Former McDonald’s CEO Fred L. Turner has died aged 80, the company said in a statement late Monday. According to the statement, Mr. Turner passed away due to complications from pneumonia.
“Fred was a true pioneer and shaped the quick service restaurant industry. We will remember his leadership, passion and dedication to McDonald’s, our customers and our people,” said McDonald’s Chairman Andy McKenna.
A native of Des Moines, Iowa, Turner was one of McDonald’s founder Ray Kroc’s first employees, joining the company in 1956. In 1961, Turner spearheaded the creation of McDonald’s Hamburger University, a stringent training curriculum for managers, franchisees and company employees.
Washington Post reports that today, there are seven Hamburger Universities globally, including one at the company’s headquarters that was renamed the Fred L. Turner Training Center in 2004.
Mr. Turner became president and chief administrative officer in 1968 and Chief Executive Officer in 1974, a position he held until 1997. In addition to his role as CEO, Fred served as the company’s chairman until 1990, then senior chairman until retiring in 2004 and being named honorary chairman.
Under Turner’s leadership, McDonald’s more than tripled its number of restaurants and entered dozens of new markets worldwide.
“Fred’s contributions to McDonald’s are immeasurable,” said Don Thompson, McDonald’s President and CEO. “For more than fifty years,he was dedicated to operations excellence, training and developing a great tasting menu. He worked side by side with Ray to open clean,welcoming restaurants where families could enjoy a high quality meal and a special time together. Our more than 34,000 restaurants around the world serve as a testament to Fred’s business genius and his strong commitment to our customers. Fred was a dedicated family man,a savvy business leader, and a loyal friend. We will miss him tremendously.”
Turner is survived by three daughters and eight grandchildren. His wife, Patty, predeceased him.
via Chicago Tribune