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06/12/02 . By GEOFFREY WHITE, Associated Press Writer . Yahoo! News . USA  
McDonald's chairman to retire at year's end  
CHICAGO - Just nine months after asking him to stay on the job until 2005, struggling fast food giant McDonald's Corp. is saying goodbye to its chairman and chief executive, Jack Greenberg.  

The company said Thursday that Greenberg, 60, has decided to retire at the end of this year after 21 years at McDonald's, which is based in Oak Brook, Illinois. Pressure for him to leave has been building as McDonald's reported lower earnings in seven of the past eight quarters.

Reaction to the change was generally positive Thursday. For months, many Wall Street analysts had been calling for Greenberg's ouster.

McDonald's, mired in a deep two-year slump, recently announced it is slowing its expansion pace as it grapples with a crowded restaurant market, sluggish economy and complaints about poor service.

The company's stock has lost about two-thirds of its value since Greenberg was named CEO in 1998, and shares fell to a seven-year low this fall. Shares of McDonald's gained 41 cents, or about 2.2 percent, to close at $18.78 Thursday on the New York Stock Exchange (news - web sites).

McDonald's operates 30,000 restaurants in 118 countries. Its more than 13,300 American stores control about 43 percent of the quick-service hamburger market.  
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