Following CEO Steve Easterbrook's resignation Sunday after a consensual relationship with an employee, McDonald's Corp. (MCD) announced Monday that Head of U.S. Operations Chris Kempczinski would take over the role.

"I am excited to take the reins of this incredible company and grateful for the Board’s confidence in me," Kempczinski said in an email to employees, adding that he is "fortunate to be surrounded by such a talented team."

Kempczinski, 51, grew up in Cincinnati and earned an MBA from Harvard. He began his business career at Procter & Gamble as a brand manager, and then joined PepsiCo Inc. four years later. He briefly worked at the Boston Consulting Group, before working at Kraft Foods from 2008 to 2015, eventually becoming the president of international business there.

Kempczinski joined McDonald's in October 2015. After a year-and-a half at the company, he rose through the ranks from being a member of the global strategy team to president of McDonald's USA.

Under Easterbrook, McDonald's shares have risen 96% to $193.94 since he began as CEO in 2015. Shares of McDonald's were down 3.03% in Monday trading at 12:52 p.m. ET.

Kempczinski will have to continue bolstering investor confidence in the company, and will also have to continue to speed up drive-thru times for faster service at McDonald's restaurants.

QSR magazine, a publication on the restaurant industry, said that McDonald's drive-thru times have been getting longer every year for the last six years.

In September, the fast-food giant announced it would acquire AI Silicon Valley startup Apprente, as the company hopes to further automate the drive-thru ordering process.