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Click to see all 100 Most Powerful Chicagoans
Looking for the latest in Chicago's power structure? Check out this year's Power 100 list.

3. Jim Skinner

Jim Skinner

AGE: 66
OCCUPATION: CEO, McDonald’s

What economic downturn? McDonald’s is tearing it up financially—and this low-key CEO is responsible. Since taking the helm in 2004, he has led one of the great corporate turnarounds of our time, checking out-of-control growth and adopting a back-to-basics approach that has delivered enviable profit margins (20 percent in 2011) and a $100 billion market cap. His jobs program teaches 1.7 million workers precision and discipline, not just how to crank the fryer. What’s more, few people wield more influence over the average American’s diet (“Over 99 Billion Served!”).

RELATED: Most Powerful Ex-Chicagoans | Power Couples | Power Siblings | Up-and-Comers | Poll: Which Powerful Chicagoan Would You Call Back First? | Quiz: Do You Know Chicago’s Power Players? | Back to all 100

 

Photograph: Bonnie Trafelet/Chicago Tribune

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