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Aug 22 (Reuters) - McDonald's Corp is changing the leadership at its struggling U.S. division for the second time in two years in a move that may signal increased pressure on Chief Executive Officer Don Thompson.
McDonald's, the world's biggest fast-food chain by revenue, on Friday named former McDonald's executive Mike Andres as president of McDonald's USA, replacing Jeff Stratton, who had been in the job since December 2012.
Thompson, who became president and CEO in July 2012, has presided over a period of disappointing results from the U.S. region.
"It's hard to argue that this type of turnover doesn't put more scrutiny on a CEO," Bernstein Research analyst Sara Senatore said. "If results stay weak despite turnover in these executive roles, then ultimately it's the responsibility of the CEO."
Since November McDonald's has suffered flat or declining monthly same-store sales at its U.S. restaurants. Among other things, analysts said bloated menus have slowed service amid intensified pressure from resurgent rivals such as Wendy's Co and Burger King Worldwide Inc.
Andres, 56, will take over the post on Oct. 15. He rejoins McDonald's after serving as chairman and CEO of restaurant chain Logan's Roadhouse Inc. He also will oversee the Canada business.
Andres started his career at the Golden Arches as manager of his family-owned McDonald's in northern California. During his 30 years he was president and CEO of Boston Market, then a McDonald's subsidiary, and president of McDonald's central U.S. division, the company said.
Stratton, 58, was McDonald's chief restaurant officer prior to being named president of the U.S. division. He replaced Jan Fields, who expanded the McCafe beverage menu and revamped the popular Happy Meal to include apple slices and smaller, kid-size french fries. Stratton will retire, the company said.
Investment Technology Group restaurant analyst Steve West was surprised that McDonald's, which is known for hiring from within, replaced Stratton with an outside executive.
"McDonald's has always been touted as having the deepest management bench arguably of any company in any industry," said West. "Maybe that's exactly what they need, some fresh perspective from someone who has been somewhere else."
Shares in McDonald's were down 0.1 percent at $94.41 in afternoon trading on the New York Stock Exchange.
(Reporting by Lisa Baertlein in Los Angeles and Devika Krishna Kumar in Bangalore; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila and Jeffrey Benkoe)