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Tributes are paid to former fast food executive Fred Turner

Tributes are paid to former fast food executive Fred Turner

TRIBUTES have been paid to Fred Turner, who rose from flipping burgers to heading the McDonald’s fast food empire. He has passed away aged 80.

Mr. Turner began working for the company after graduating from university in 1956. He cooked burgers at an outlet in Des Plaines, Illinois, which was the first restaurant opened by businessman Ray Kroc, who had negotiated the rights to develop the fast food chain from founders Richard and Maurice McDonald.

The Des Plaines outlet was not the first McDonald’s franchise — the McDonald brothers had already sold the concept for a small number of restaurants mostly in California. But it was Mr. Kroc who set about expanding the chain across the United States. He bought out the McDonald brothers in the early 1960s.

Mr. Turner began rising through the company ranks and was credited with making a major contribution to establishing McDonald’s as a global brand. Among his early achievements was the creation of the company’s first training centre for employees and franchisees, which was dubbed the “Hamburger University”. 

He became President and chief administrative officer of the company in 1968 and went on take over as Chief Executive from Ray Kroc in 1974. Three years later he became the company’s CEO.

During his time as the head of the company Mr. Turner was to oversee a major global expansion. By the time he retired in 2004, to become honorary chairman, McDonald’s was the largest restaurant company in the world.

Michael Bullington, who is the senior archive manager at McDonald’s Corporation, has been paying tribute to his friend, click here.

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