This Day in Death

1.7.13: Fred Turner, Former McDonald’s CEO, Founder of Hamburger University – DEAD!

Filed under: Dead —James @ 10:38 am January 23, 2013


See? You legalize gay marriage and all of a sudden clown mascots are marrying CEOs of multinational corporations. Next thing you know anything goes and an alpaca is getting hitched to an issue of Highlights for Children.


Former McDonald’s CEO Fred Turner is dead today at the age of 80. Turner is the third McDonald’s CEO to die in the last decade; Jim Cantalupo died of a heart attack in 2004 and was replaced by Chris Bell. Bell, who ate the company’s food regularly, died of colon cancer the next year, with his diet potentially at fault. Unlike the others, and luckily for McDonald’s PR department, Turner dying of pneumonia would be hard to pin to their product’s questionable nutritional value. Well, unless you count their controversial Southwestern Streptococcus Chicken Salad. That thing is infectiously delicious.

Turner was actually one of McDonald’s founder Ray Kroc’s earliest employees, starting at the counter and working his way up to become CEO in 1974. It’s an inspiring life story, proof that even you, with enough hard work, can get out of your dead-end minimum wage hellscape of a job and become one of the most success entrepreneurs in the country. I mean, not you personally, as you lack basic ambition and critical thinking skills. What company is looking for someone who can beat The Beatles: Rock Band on expert, or come up with exciting new things to make bongs out of? Honestly, the odds are just astronomically against you. It’s simple social Darwinism, really. If anything you should count yourself lucky you’ve lived this long without choking on a shoelace or something.

In the early days of the company, Mr. Turner could often be found working alongside employees in the restaurants, teaching new hires the McDonald’s approach to preparing and serving fast food. Only two years after his arrival, Mr. Turner wrote the first “operations and training manual,” which is still the blueprint for McDonald’s restaurant operations.

That’s right; McDonald’s has left the same manual sitting in the back room for over 50 years, which is also how they make a jar of Special Sauce. I hear the secret ingredient is sun-dried Grimace bits.

In 1961, Mr. Turner led the effort to create McDonald’s Hamburger University, where employees, managers and franchisees are trained.

Ah, good old Hamburger University! The only school where you can major in myocardial infarctions. You know, they say failure to gain tenure there is what turned the Hamburglar to a life of crime, but I think the deck was already kinda stacked against him with that name. At any rate, it was just another in a long line of savvy business decisions from the company that hired Jason Alexander in a Miami Vice blazer to sell you on the concept that McDonald’s employees shouldn’t have to bother assembling your sandwich for you. No wonder the HU Coronaries never make it to the Super Bowl.


Source: The Chicago Sun-Times

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