Ronald McDonald's tears mark Jim Cantalupo's passing

LONDON - McDonald's is bidding farewell to chairman and CEO Jim Cantalupo, who died earlier this week, with an international newspaper ad showing clown Ronald McDonald with a tear streaming down his face.

The ad features a close-up of Ronald's face and the McDonald's "m", underneath which appears the line "we miss you, Jim". It was created by the restaurant chain's retained agency Leo Burnett Chicago and runs in today's Financial Times. It will also appear in USA Today and other US newspapers, as well as major titles around the world.

Cantalupo died of a suspected heart attack, aged 60, while attending McDonald's conference on Monday. The company has been in mourning since his death, with some restaurants flying the McDonald's corporate flag at half mast.

The franchise and owners conference was suspended for a day but has continued this week with employees paying tribute to their leader, who worked at McDonald's for 28 years.

There are further plans to memorialise Cantalupo, who is credited with introducing a range of initiatives to turn around sales at the fast food company, focusing on improving service and the quality of food, and cutting back on new store openings.

He was quickly replaced by the Australian Charlie Bell, who was Cantalupo's number two and another long-time McDonald's executive.

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