Jim Cantalupo

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Jim Cantalupo
Jim Cantalupo
President, CEO McDonald's'
In office
Personal details
James Richard Cantalupo

(1943-11-14)November 14, 1943
Oak Park, Illinois, U.S.
DiedApril 19, 2004(2004-04-19) (aged 60)
Orlando, Florida, U.S.
Cause of deathHeart attack
EducationUniversity of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
OccupationPresident, CEO McDonald's, 2003-2004

James Richard Cantalupo (November 14, 1943 – April 19, 2004) was an American businessman. He served as chairman and chief executive officer of McDonald's Corporation until his sudden death by heart attack at the age of 60.


Cantalupo was born in Oak Park, Illinois, the eldest child in a family of Irish and Italian descent. His father was an optometrist and mother a homemaker. Cantalupo earned a degree in accounting from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where he was admitted to the Zeta Psi fraternity.[1][citation needed]

He married, and had a daughter and son.[2]


He became a certified public accountant and worked for Arthur Young for eight years, where McDonald's was a client. He was offered the job of controller with a substantial salary increase with the then fast growing McDonald's before taking a month to decide, finally joining in 1974. In the same year he was promoted to vice president and senior vice president in 1981.[3] He became president of McDonald's International in 1987 and its CEO in 1991. He lost the top job to Jack Greenberg in 1999.[2] McDonald's announced his retirement plans in April 2001, but on December 1 Greenberg resigned and Cantalupo agreed to stay on for another year to help with the management transition.[4]

Cantalupo succeeded as CEO and chairman on January 1, 2003. Shareholders were not impressed, thinking that his appointment indicated that the company was "inbred".[2] However, credit was given to Cantalupo for the company's recovery in the succeeding 12 months: "he devised a plan" which included "accelerating the introduction of healthier foods, such as salads".[2]

Cantalupo previously served on the board of directors of Sears, Roebuck and Company. He was attending a McDonald's convention in Orlando, Florida when he was stricken with a heart attack and later died.[5]


  1. ^ "Zetes of Distinction". Zeta Psi - Alpha Psi Chapter. 2011-11-20. Retrieved 2017-10-23.
  2. ^ a b c d Reed (2004) p. 30
  3. ^ "Jack Greenberg to Retire from McDonald's". QSR magazine. 2002-12-09. Retrieved 2019-03-15.
  4. ^ Day, Sherri (2002-12-06). "Chief Executive Of McDonald's Plans to Retire". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2019-03-14.
  5. ^ "McDonald's CEO Cantalupo dies suddenly; Bell succeeds - Apr. 19, 2004". money.cnn.com. Retrieved 2019-03-14.


  • Reed, Christopher (2004) "Burger king who revived chain with salads: James Richard Cantalupo, Businessman, 1943-2004" (obituary reprinted from The Guardian) in The Sydney Morning Herald, 2004-04-22, p. 30

External links[edit]

Business positions
Preceded by
Jack M. Greenberg
CEO of McDonald's
Succeeded by
Charlie Bell