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2009 Chief Executive of the Year: Xerox's Anne Mulcahy passes the baton to Jim Skinner, CEO of McDonald's.

In July, more than 200 CEOs gathered at the New York Stock Exchange New York Stock Exchange (NYSE)

World's largest marketplace for securities. The exchange began as an informal meeting of 24 men in 1792 on what is now Wall Street in New York City.
 to honor one of their own: McDonald's Jim Skinner. Named 2009's Chief Executive of the Year, Skinner is the 25th CEO (1) (Chief Executive Officer) The highest individual in command of an organization. Typically the president of the company, the CEO reports to the Chairman of the Board.  to receive the award, joining such business luminaries as Jack Welch For the illustrator named Jack Welch, see Jack Welch (illustrator)

John Francis "Jack" Welch, Jr. (born on November 19 1935 (1935--) (age 73) 
, Andy Grove and Bill Gates (person) Bill Gates - William Henry Gates III, Chief Executive Officer of Microsoft, which he co-founded in 1975 with Paul Allen. In 1994 Gates is a billionaire, worth $9.35b and Microsoft is worth about $27b. .

"CEOs get a lot of attention," noted last year's honoree hon·or·ee  
n.
The recipient of an honor.

Noun 1. honoree - a recipient of honors in recognition of noteworthy accomplishments
recipient, receiver - a person who receives something
, Xerox Chairman Anne Mulcahy, in bestowing the accolade. "There's some good, there's some bad and occasionally there are some awards, but this one truly is special because it is based solely on job performance and the judge and jury are a group of your peers."

In designating a recipient, Chief Executive magazine considers nominations from CEOs and their peers. Top nominees by votes are then passed on to a panel of CEO judges who weigh candidates by such criteria as leadership, integrity, ability to outperform and commitment to employees.

Jim Skinner excelled in every category, reported J.P. Donlon, editor in chief of the magazine. "When I visited with Jim at McDonald's Oak Brook, Illinois, headquarters a few months ago, he told me in a very matter-of-fact way, 'What we do here is not that complicated, we're a restaurant business,'" said Donlon. "That may be true, but the ordinary becomes extraordinary when it is seamlessly executed every day in 119 countries around the world."

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Skinner, who began his career with McDonald's in 1971 as a restaurant manager in Carpentersville, Illinois Carpentersville is a village in Kane County, Illinois, United States. The population was 30,586 at the 2000 census[1]. Geography
Carpentersville is located at  (42.121156, -88.274679)GR1.
, was named CEO in 2004, at a time when the company was struggling, and acted quickly to turn the company around. Between 2004 and 2008, revenue climbed 41.1 percent in four years, and net income jumped by 81.3 percent. But his real achievement was the methodology behind that financial feat, noted Mulcahy. "No one who knew him was surprised by his recipe to turn filings around," she said. "The goals of his 'plan to win' were simple and straightforward: faster, friendlier service, more choices for a changing consumer, more appealing restaurants, better values, sharper marketing. But more important, the execution was brilliant."

Today, McDonald's sells as much chicken as it does beef, and is the single largest consumer of apples in the U.S. Its customers are as likely to eat a chicken wrap or apple walnut salad as they are a cheeseburger and fries, noted Mulcahy, who adds that Skinner eats McDonald's food every day and is as unpretentious as the company he runs. "Despite all that change, Jim has insisted that the company's core values remain constant."

In accepting the award, Jim Skinner acknowledged the support of his family and his leadership team, along with the entire McDonald's system in helping to achieve that execution. "Together, our franchisees, employees and suppliers make up what we call our three-legged stool," he said. "We succeed only when all three legs of that stool are strong, aligned and performing at the highest levels."

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In closing, Skinner noted that while the challenges of leadership have grown more complex in the current business climate, holding fast to fundamental principals will serve today's business Today's Business is a show on CNBC that aired in the early morning, 5 to 7AM ET timeslot, hosted by Liz Claman and Bob Sellers, and it was replaced by Wake Up Call on Feb 4, 2002.  leader well. "The key trait for any CEO today is the ability to balance your epiphanies with your execution," he said. "Big ideas and bold strategies are important. But given the times we're in, what matters most are results. There's a saying that 'good ideas are common--what's uncommon are people who will work hard enough to bring them about.' I try to make sure everyone at McDonald's keeps that in mind as we innovate and work to grow our business."
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Title Annotation:LEADERSHIP
Publication:Chief Executive (U.S.)
Date:Sep 1, 2009
Words:600
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