Andrew McKenna of McDonalds Inc. (NYSE: MCD), known for steering the world’s largest foodservice company through difficult times, will keynote the 2012 Midwest ACG Capital Connection on Oct. 23. A director since 1999, and non-executive chairman since 2004, McKenna has helped navigate McDonalds through the sudden death of one CEO, the cancer diagnosis of another and the retirement of a third. 

Now, at 82, McKenna’s diplomatic style has earned him the nickname, “St. Andrew of the Boardroom,” according to Crain’s Chicago Business. It was McKenna who brought the board together in an emergency meeting after the fatal heart attack of CEO James Cantalupo in 2004 and who held the company together later in the year when Cantalupo’s successor Charlie Bell was diagnosed with cancer. McKenna then promoted vice chairman Jim Skinner to the chief executive spot. Skinner retired earlier in 2012, and Don Thompson, a 22-year veteran of the Oakbrook, Ill. company, took the helm in July.

“Rail-thin, with a shock of white hair and owlish glasses (and, lately, a bit of a stoop), Mr. McKenna stands out in a crowd,” reports Crain’s. “He works a room with a polished ease many politicians could learn from. But colleagues say he doesn't rely on charm to get results. Instead, he nudges a group toward consensus by framing issues and drawing out the views of each member on critical points.”

McKenna, ACG Chicago Lifetime Achievement Award Winner, also serves as chairman of Schwarz Supply Source, a McDonald’s supplier of packaging and promotional materials, and as a trustee of Ronald McDonald House Charities, Museum of Science and Industry and University of Notre Dame, among other philanthropic efforts.

McDonald’s reported on Oct. 19 that its third-quarter net income fell nearly four percent as the stronger dollar hurt international results and the chain faced tough competition in the U.S.

Other speakers at the conference, hosted by ACG Chicago, include: Jeff Burgis, partner, Adams Street; Thomas Kerr, managing director, Hamilton Lane; William Franklin, former board member, Institutional Limited Partners Association; Randal Ralph, managing director, Northwestern Mutual Capital, LLC; James McNair, senior managing director, Corinthian Capital Group, LLC; and Adam Hartung, Managing Partner, Spark Partners.

Mergers & Acquisitions will be at McCormick Place, covering the conference.

For more on ACG Chicago, read the chapter profile "Sweet Home, Chicago."

Subscribe Now

Complete access to real-time information and analysis of news and trends in the industry.

14-Day Free Trial

No credit card required. Complete access to articles, breaking news and industry data.