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Name and title: Gloria Santona, corporate executive vice president and general counsel Age: 56 Billions and billions: McDonald’s Corp.’s 2006 global revenues of $21.6 billion were the most of any fast-food brand. The company operates some 31,800 restaurants in 118 countries � more outlets than the world’s top three retailers (Wal-Mart Stores Inc., Carrefour S.A. and Royal Ahold N.V.) combined. McDonald’s success and family-oriented marketing, sustained by $600 million annually in advertising and a long cross-promotional relationship with Walt Disney Co., has made it a target of consumer advocates concerned with health and nutrition. McDonald’s has slowed its expansion in recent years, working instead to build sales at existing restaurants. The exception is China, which in 2004 authorized McDonald’s to establish franchises. McDonald’s operates 600 restaurants in China, with plans to have 1,000 open in time for the Beijing Olympics in 2008. Route to present position: “I’ve been with McDonald’s forever,” Santona said. She signed on following graduation in 1977 from the University of Michigan Law School, and moved steadily into jobs of greater responsibility, culminating with her appointment as general counsel in 2001. “I love change; I love challenge. I am not dealing with the same issues every day,” Santona said. “My responsibilities have changed over time. I became general counsel in the middle of 2001, and in 2002 we were hit with Sarbanes-Oxley. That first year, I was just figuring out what it was to be general counsel in a new and different world. We needed to figure out if we had the right governance and the right financial controls in place. I am still learning new things every day.” Legal team and outside counsel: Santona oversees a far-flung legal department of nearly 140 attorneys in 19 countries. Groups of lawyers specialize in litigation, intellectual property, marketing, corporate, commercial and real estate. “We have a matrix organization, so here at the home office in Oak Brook [Ill.] we have a number of functional specialists who provide services to corporate headquarters and share best practices across borders,” Santona said. McDonald’s is organized around four regions � the United States, Latin America, Europe and a composite of Asia, the Middle East and Africa. An area general counsel oversees each region and reports to Santona. Other attorneys oversee operations in individual countries and report to their area GCs. Intellectual property issues require constant attention. “We have to manage trademarks in more than the 118 countries we’re in. We can’t manage that here, so we have a cadre of law firms specializing in intellectual property,” Santona said. McDonald’s has defended two of the most highly publicized tort cases in recent years � Perlman v. McDonald’s, a New York case accusing the company of promoting obesity; and Liebeck v. McDonald’s Restaurants, the famous case over burns from spilled hot coffee, in New Mexico. Chicago firms Winston & Strawn and Wildman, Harrold, Allen & Dixon represent McDonald’s in the pending Perlman litigation. Albuquerque, N.M.-based Rodey, Dickason, Sloan, Akin & Robb handled the Liebeck case. Otherwise, “our litigation portfolio is not particularly exciting,” Santona said. “We serve more than 50 million people every single day in our restaurants, and things happen when people are on your premises or buy your products or have interactions with your employees. We have a standard amount of normal, routine tort litigation that, relative to the number of transactions, is amazingly small.” Pro bono and diversity: Santona encourages her entire team to do pro bono work. “We try to involve everyone in the organization, from the attorneys to the administrative staff. My people are active in so many organizations and willing to give their time.” Santona is equally proud that she has built “an extremely diverse organization,” she said. “More than half of the attorneys are women and more than 20% are minorities.” Daily duties: McDonald’s sheer size, in terms of customers served, the number of restaurants, global presence and iconic stature in consumer culture, creates unique demands. “I start my typical day reading the newspaper. I need to know what’s going on with McDonald’s today. On a good day, we are not reading about anything,” Santona said. “Working for a global consumer brand is a very different proposition than working with a business-to-business enterprise. Our first job and responsibility is to protect the most important thing that we own, which is our brand. A lot of my time centers on the issue of brand protection.” Personal: Santona and her husband, Douglas Frazier, also an attorney, have a son, Daniel, 11. “I love to travel,” she said. “I don’t read as much I used to, but I love to read. I am involved in more organizations than I care to list.” They include the boards of the Constitutional Rights Foundation of Chicago, the Association of Corporate Counsel, Aon Corp. and Rush University Medical Center. Last book: Saving Fish From Drowning, by Amy Tam. Last movie: The Good Shepherd.

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