April 19, 2004 by

Jim Cantalupo

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Categories: Business

jcantalupo.jpgJames Richard Cantalupo, the CEO and chairman of McDonalds, died on April 19 from an apparent heart attack. He was 60.
The Windy City native studied architecture at the University of Illinois in Chicago. After a few years, Cantalupo switched his major to accounting and transferred to the school’s Champaign, Ill., campus. For eight years, he worked at Arthur Young & Co., an accounting firm that later became Ernst & Young.
Cantalupo joined the McDonalds Corp. in 1974 as a controller. He spent 28 years with the fast food giant, climbing the corporate ladder as a district manager in Chicago, a zone manager for the northeastern portion of the United States and vice chairman of McDonald’s International. Cantalupo retired in 2001 with plans to spend time relaxing at his lake house. But on Jan. 1, 2003, he was appointed chairman and chief executive of the hamburger chain.
During his 15-month tenure as CEO, Cantalupo launched several initiatives to improve operations. He closed hundreds of restaurants, increased sales with the release of new products and ordered the debut of healthier menu options to combat America’s rising obesity rates. These actions helped turn around the fortunes of the world’s largest restaurant chain.
Cantalupo was an honorary member of the board of trustees of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society and the past president of the International Federation of the Multiple Sclerosis Societies. He also served on the board of directors of Sears, Roebuck and Co., and the Chicago Council on Foreign Relations.

3 Responses to Jim Cantalupo

  1. Gayle

    I was fortunate enough to attend the McDonalds World Wide Convention. Jim’s death was a shock to all who attended. All of McDonalds will honour Mr. Cantalupo by keeping the passion burning. We’ll miss you Jim.

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