McDonald’s Corp. is eliminating two of its four zone president positions just more than a year after they were created in a reorganization.

Rick Colon and Kevin Newell are retiring, McDonald’s said in a statement. Debbie Roberts and Charlie Strong will continue as zone presidents under chief field officer Karen King.

“As we announced at our November investor meeting, we are committed to make strategic decisions faster, removing layers so that our regional teams can improve the way we run our restaurants,” McDonald’s spokeswoman Lisa McComb said in an email statement. The upcoming retirements “provide the opportunities to streamline responsibilities across the U.S. leadership team.”

Colon, Newell, Roberts and Strong were named zone presidents in 2014, when McDonald’s reorganized its domestic operations. The company moved from three divisions to four zones: Northeast, South, Central and West, each with its own president and identity.

Bloomberg Business first reported the reorganization.

McDonald’s has moved aggressively to cut bureaucracy under CEO Steve Easterbrook, who took the job in March last year. The company reorganized its global operations to eliminate different levels of bureaucracy and enable the company to make decisions more quickly.

McDonald’s has also worked to improve service times and accuracy, started selling breakfast items all day, and introduced a new value platform. The company has also given different regions more autonomy to choose menu items and introduce products.

“As we lead for the future, we will make decisions that ensure the pace of change at McDonald’s will continue to accelerate,” McComb said.

Contact Jonathan Maze at jonathan.maze@penton.com
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