* Holger Beeck to take over from Bane Knezevic
* Knezevic leaves at own request after 8 years as CEO
FRANKFURT Oct 10 McDonald's Corp said
it has appointed a new head of its German operations, as the
world's largest restaurant chain grapples with a downturn in
consumer spending in Europe.
Holger Beeck, 54, currently chief operating officer, will
take over at the end of November from Bane Knezevic, who is
stepping down from the chief executive role at his own request
after eight years, the company said. His new role will be
announced at a later date, McDonald's said on Thursday.
Germany is McDonald's fourth-largest market with 3.2 billion
euros ($4.3 billion) of sales. But performance has been weak in
recent quarters, with the company losing ground to rivals such
as Burger King Worldwide Inc.
Net sales in Germany rose 1.6 percent last year, the slowest
growth since 2004. Same-store sales, which strip out new
openings, dropped 0.2 percent in 2012, according to data from
trade magazine Food Service, against a 5.4 percent gain for
Knezevic, a 48-year old from Serbia who started at the chain
in 1988, increased McDonald's sales in Germany from 2.2 billion
euros to 3.2 billion euros during his tenure as CEO.
Beeck has worked for McDonald's for almost 30 years and
oversaw the complete refurbishment of stores in Germany and the
introduction of the McCafe coffee shops, of which there are now
830 in the country.
McDonald's Germany is the country's largest fast-food chain,
with around 1,440 restaurants serving more than 2.7 million
people a day.