Fast-food restaurant chain McDonald’s has announced a significant leadership change, with CEO Chris Kempczinski set to take on the additional role of chairman of the board.

This move follows the retirement of Enrique Hernandez, who has been a board member for 28 years and served as the non-executive chairman since 2016.

Hernandez’s retirement will be effective as of the date of the company’s annual shareholders’ meeting this year, typically held in May.

In Hernandez’s 28 years on the board—eight of those as chairman—McDonald’s established a presence in more than 100 markets and more than doubled the number of its restaurants.

Hernandez said: “It has been an honour to serve on the McDonald’s board and witness first-hand how the company has evolved to become one of the world’s most recognisable and successful brands.

“Having served alongside Chris, who is now in his fifth year as CEO, I know he is uniquely placed to unify the two roles of CEO and Chairman to ensure McDonald’s advances in lockstep with today’s ever-changing business and social landscape.”

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Kempczinski said: “Rick has been a tremendous advisor to McDonald’s since joining the board in 1996, including serving alongside eight McDonald’s CEOs. His vision, thoughtful counsel, and dedication to McDonald’s created a blueprint for us all on how to navigate change and uphold our leading position in the industry.

“I am honoured to assume the role of chairman of the board of directors of McDonald’s following our Annual Shareholders’ Meeting. As chairman and CEO, I am committed to advancing our ‘Accelerating the Arches’ strategy and continuing to deliver strong performance.

Furthermore, Miles White will step into the position of lead independent director.

In addition to these shifts, McDonald’s has also nominated Kimberly-Clark chairman and CEO Mike Hsu to serve as an independent director on the board.

Hsu brings more than three decades of experience in the consumer products industry, having served as Kimberly-Clark’s president and COO before he was appointed CEO in January 2019.