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New McDonalds chief pulls plug on global digital network

Burger all that technology
Fri Jan 03 2003, 10:28
FAST "FOOD" RETAILER McDonald's has shelved plans to establish a digital network linking all its branches together in what would have been - considering the extent of the empire - a virtual Internet all of its own.

A new management team at the company decided the effort was a waste of money and killed the project stone dead, various wire services are reporting. A spokesman said the decision to dump the project would save the company tens of millions of dollars.

The company killed the project late December. In a memo distributed to employees on December 27, vice chairman Jim Skinner, told anyone working on the project, named Innovate, to stop "immediately". He said the "tough decision" had been dictated by, "the need to focus on fewer priorities."

The memo has become public knowledge and can be found here.

The plan was already three years old and was to put into operation later this year, beginning in Canada and France. Details of the shape and style of the network are not forthcoming, although McDonalds' ability to monitor worldwide trends quickly through feedback from its outlets around the globe is well known.

The firm has a new boss in the shape of Jim Cantalupo, who took over the role of chairman and chief executive officer the day before yesterday. It seems Jim, who has been at the company some 28 years, decided the network was folly and had the plug pulled. µ


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