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/ Source: Associated Press

McDonald's CEO Steve Easterbrook says he's stripping away layers of bureaucracy so the company can move faster to keep up with changing tastes.

During a 23-minute video message posted online Monday, Easterbrook said the company's structure is too "cumbersome" and that it can no longer afford its "legacy structure."

"The reality is our recent performance has been poor. The numbers don't lie," said Easterbrook, who took charge of the world's biggest hamburger chain on March 1.

To foster quicker movement, McDonald's is restructuring its units into four groups: the flagship U.S. market, international lead markets such as Australia and the United Kingdom, high-growth markets such as China and Russia, and the rest of the world. Easterbrook also repeatedly stressed during the video that the company will focus more on listening to customers, simplifying restaurant operations and improving perceptions about the quality of its food with items like a new Artisan Grilled Chicken sandwich.

The company also plans to cut $300 million in costs by around 2017. The company said it's too early to say how that will affect jobs.

The company will also accelerate plans to refranchise its business. It will be 90 percent franchised globally over the next four years, up from 81 percent.


-- The Associated Press