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Why HR is at the Heart of McDonald’s New Golden Age

Story Highlights
  • Chief People Officer David Fairhurst plays a key role as the storied brand adapts to a changing business.

Source | | Andrew R. McIlvaine

For David Fairhurst, the entrepreneurial spirit took hold at an early age.

“I had my own sweets shop when I was 10 years old, selling to local kids,” the northwest England native says.

The lure of commerce wasn’t the only thing on young Fairhurst’s mind, however. He also seriously considered becoming a pastor and took public-speaking lessons at his local church, in addition to engaging in lots of community volunteer work.

Upon graduating college, however, he’d lost his ambition for a career in the church—yet he hadn’t lost sight of his idealism, nor his fascination with business. He ended up combining the two into a career in HR.

“When people science and commerciality come together, it feels like HR,” says Fairhurst, who continued his community involvement by serving as a visiting professor at the U.K.’s Manchester University and working with nonprofits to teach workers new skills.

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