President, McDonald's USA
Joe Erlinger is President of McDonald’s USA, where he is responsible for the business operations of nearly 14,000 McDonald’s restaurants in the United States. Since Joe took on this role more than four years ago, the business has grown same store sales by more than 30%, propelled by the 2020 introduction of the Accelerating the Arches USA strategic plan. He has taken actions to strengthen the business for the long-term and ensure that McDonald’s remains the greatest franchise opportunity for generations to come. Prior to his current role, he served as President, International Operated Markets, with overall responsibility for McDonald’s wholly owned markets outside the U.S.
Joe began his McDonald’s career in Strategy and New Business Development in 2002. From there, he moved on to roles of increasing scope and responsibilities that included regional and international leadership such as Vice President & General Manager of the Indianapolis Region and Managing Director, McDonald’s Korea. In 2015, he stepped into the Chief Financial Officer role for McDonald’s High Growth Markets.
From 2016 to 2018, Joe led the High Growth segment as President. He was responsible for 6,000 McDonald’s restaurants across China, Hong Kong, Italy, Netherlands, Poland, Russia, South Korea, Spain, and Switzerland. During his tenure, the China and Hong Kong markets were converted to developmental licenses in the largest re-franchising transaction completed in McDonald’s history.
While McDonald’s has a global footprint, its roots are in the Chicago community, where Joe is on the Board of World Business Chicago and an Executive Committee Member for the Museum of Science and Industry.
Joe is an alumnus of Georgetown University and recently was a Founding Board Member of Georgetown Athletics Women’s Allegiance. He lives in Chicago, IL with his wife and three kids.