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Last Updated: Thursday, 24 August 2006, 07:27 GMT 08:27 UK
McDonald's president steps down
Mike Roberts
Mr Roberts says the decision to resign was extremely difficult
Hamburger chain and restaurant group McDonald's has said that its president and chief operating officer Mike Roberts has resigned.

It did not give a reason for the decision by Mr Roberts, who was widely credited as being one of the people behind the firm's profit recovery.

Mr Roberts, 55, has been at McDonald's for almost three decades and started out as a regional purchasing manager

Ralph Alvarez, president of McDonald's USA, will succeed Mr Roberts.

'Real negative'

"It is with deep regret that I am announcing my resignation, a decision that I believe is right for me, my family, my career and the company at this time," Mr Robert's wrote in an e-mail to employees.

He added that the decision to leave McDonald's was "one of the most difficult of my life".

Analysts said that the resignation may hurt the company's share price, at least in the short-term. There also was speculation that Mr Roberts had left McDonald's after failing to get guarantees about his future role at the firm.

"Unless there's some extraordinary event, it's a real negative for them to lose their number two man," said Richard Adams, a consultant and former McDonald's executive.

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