By AP

McDonald's replaces head of U.S. operations

NEW YORK – McDonald's Corp. is replacing the head of its U.S. operations after the world's biggest hamburger chain reported its first monthly sales decline in nearly a decade.

The company, based in Oak Brook, says its global chief restaurant officer, Jeff Stratton, will succeed Jan Fields as president of McDonald's USA effective Dec. 1.

Fields, 57, is leaving after more than 35 years with the company. She was behind many major menu innovations, including the expansion of the specialty drinks menu.

After years of outperforming its rivals, McDonald's has struggled recently amid intensifying competition at home and a persistently weak economy abroad. In October, the company reported its first monthly sales decline since 2003.

McDonald's has more than 34,000 locations around the world, with about 14,000 in the U.S.

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