FRANKFURT, Oct 10 (Reuters) - McDonald's Corp hasappointed a new head of its German operations, a person familiarwith the matter said, as the world's largest restaurant chaingrapples with a downturn in consumer spending in Europe.
Holger Beeck, 54, currently chief operating officer, willtake over at the end of November from Bane Knezevic, who isstepping down from the chief executive role after eight years athis own request. Knezevic, 48, will remain active withinMcDonald's, the person said on Thursday.
Germany is McDonald's fourth-largest market with 3.2 billioneuros ($4.3 billion) of sales. But performance has been weak inrecent quarters, with the company losing ground to rivals suchas Burger King Worldwide Inc.
Net sales in Germany rose 1.6 percent last year, the slowestgrowth since 2004. Same-store sales, which strip out newopenings, dropped 0.2 percent in 2012, according to data fromtrade magazine Food Service, against a 5.4 percent gain forBurger King.
Beeck has worked for McDonald's for almost 30 years andoversaw the complete refurbishment of stores in Germany and theintroduction of the McCafe coffee shops, of which there are now830 in the country.
McDonald's Germany, the country's largest fast-food chainwith around 1,440 restaurants serving more than 2.7 millionpeople a day, declined to comment.
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