James Thorne

Vice President, People

James was promoted to Vice President, People in April 2021, and leads the People Team across the UK and Ireland. He is responsible for Human Resources, Education, Learning and Development, Reward, Culture & Inclusion, Recruitment and Talent Management.

James first joined McDonald’s in 2007 as an intern in the Rewards Team. After he completed his degree, he returned to the business to work in the HR Team in 2009. Over the past 11 years, he’s held a number of different roles within People, including HR and Reward Lead, Director of Learning and Development and the People Lead for the London Olympics 2012. Here he managed all HR activity for the four Olympic McDonald’s restaurants, employing over 2,000 employees.

Most recently, James was People Director where he skilfully and sensitively led the business’s People agenda during a challenging period in 2020. He also championed workplace safety, two way engagement and ensured a focus on people remained at the heart of the business’s decision making.

James’ favourite McDonald’s menu item is Chicken Selects.

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