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Harada resigning as McDonald’s Japan chairman

JIJI

McDonald’s Holdings Co. (Japan) said Friday that Eiko Harada will step down as chairman after heading the burger chain for 10 years.

Harada will focus on running the education service provider Benesse Holdings Inc., where he has been president and chairman since June.

His departure will take effect after a general shareholders’ meeting scheduled for March 25.

McDonald’s Holdings will leave the post of chairman vacant.

Harada became president of both the holding company and its operating subsidiary in 2004. He assumed the post of chairman in 2005.

He is best known for introducing ¥100 regular hamburgers, a step that helped McDonald’s achieve six straight years of consolidated operating profit expansion through 2011.

But the company has since been under pressure from competition with convenience stores and rival low-price restaurants. It logged an operating loss last year.

Harada turned over the post of president at the operating subsidiary to Sarah Casanova in August 2013. He then handed the CEO post at the holding company to Casanova in March 2014.

Harada served as president of the Japanese unit of Apple Inc. before moving to McDonald’s Holdings.