Former crew member gets more than french fries at McDonald’s

THE ARCHES — McDonald’s Golden Arches at the store on Erie Blvd. (Sentinel photo by John Clifford)

From a crew member in a local McDonald’s fast-food restaurant to the corporation’s board room -- that’s been the path for Utica native Tim Fenton.

The global fast-food giant has promoted Fenton to chief operating officer effective July 1. The 39-year veteran began his career with McDonald’s in 1973 as a crew member at the McDonald’s restau rant on Oriskany Boulevard in Yorkville. He rose to restaurant manager, earning Manager of the Year honors in 1979. Utica is his hometown.

Fenton, 54, is currently the head of McDonald’s business in the Asia Pacific, Middle East and Africa regions. He has also held senior roles in Europe and the United States, and has been elected to the company’s board of directors.

Fenton will be responsible for more than 33,500 restaurants around the world, the company said in a statement.

According to Reuters, the role of chief operating officer at the company is traditionally seen as a proving ground for candidates for the top post at McDonald’s.

"I’m honored to serve McDonald’s in this new capacity and look forward to working closely with our leadership teams around the world to continue to elevate our brand and make our system even stronger," said Fenton.

The company, the world’s largest restaurant chain, was founded in 1940 and is based in Oak Brook, Ill.