McDonald's CEO Dies This Morning

APRIL 19, 2004 - Posted at 7:51 a.m. CDT

OAK BROOK, IL - McDonald's chairman and CEO Jim Cantalupo died suddenly this morning.

In a statement, presiding director Andrew McKenna said Cantalupo died of an apparent heart attack in Orlando, Florida, the site of the fast food company's owner/operator convention.

Cantalupo was credited with turning McDonald's around after years of sluggish sales.

Just last month, McDonald's reported that sales jumped a whopping 23 percent in February over last year's numbers, extending a recovery that began last spring.

The company's stock recently traded at a two-year high.

McKenna says "the entire McDonald's system mourns this tragic loss, and our thoughts and prayers are with Jim's wife, Joann, and his family.  Our deepest sympathies go out to them."

Cantalupo was 60 years old.

(Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)