McDonald’s reshapes board as longtime member Penrose retires

McDonald’s is reshaping its board, including the exit of a board member recently targeted by activist investor Carl Icahn over how pigs used in the chain’s food are treated.

Sheila Penrose, who is retiring, has been a McDonald’s board member for 15 years. She was in charge of the sustainability and corporate responsibility committee.

Billionaire Carl Icahn nominated two alternative board candidates earlier this year in an attempt to force changes at the world’s biggest burger chain over how it sources the pork used in its bacon cheeseburgers and sausage patties. Icahn sought to unseat Penrose and Richard Lenny, the former CEO of Hershey.

Shareholders resoundingly rejected Icahn’s campaign, which garnered the support of only 1% of the company’s outstanding shares. Penrose maintained overwhelming support from shareholders as well, as did Lenny.

McDonald’s, based in Chicago, did not say why Penrose is retiring now but it lauded her contributions to the company.

“Through her leadership of the Sustainability and Corporate Responsibility Committee, Sheila has overseen McDonald’s critical progress against our ambitious climate, responsible sourcing and diversity, equity and inclusion goals, positioning us as a leader in the industry,” wrote Enrique Hernandez, chairman of the company board. “We are grateful for all that she has done for McDonald’s and the communities we serve.”

In addition to the departure of Penrose, McDonald’s is adding three new board members.

Tony Capuano, CEO of Marriott International; Jennifer Taubert, executive vice president and worldwide chairman, pharmaceuticals at Johnson & Johnson; and Amy Weaver, president and chief financial officer at Salesforce, will join the board on Oct. 1, a day after Penrose retires.