Skip to Content

David Fairhurst

Executive Vice President, Chief People Officer

In a company powered by its people, David Fairhurst is strengthening McDonald’s position as a modern, progressive employer. Known for implementing innovative people practices, he places a high priority on training, education and leadership development.
Fairhurst leads global human resources and training, which make up McDonald’s People function. He is committed to transforming the culture of McDonald’s so we consistently put the customer at the center of everything we do.
Fairhurst joined McDonald’s in 2005 and has held a number of HR leadership positions, including Senior Vice President of International Human Resources and Strategy and Chief People Officer of Europe where he spearheaded HR strategy and design across 38 countries.
Prior to joining McDonald’s, Fairhurst held senior roles leading talent functions at H J Heinz, SmithKline Beecham and Tesco.  He is a former Commissioner for the UK Commission for Employment and Skills and for four consecutive years (2008-2011) was voted the UK's ‘Most Influential HR Practitioner’ by readers of HR Magazine. In 2012, he was awarded the magazine’s first ever Lifetime Achievement Award for an HR Practitioner.
Fairhurst earned a bachelor’s degree from Lancaster University and a master’s degree in Strategic Human Resources Management from Manchester Metropolitan University. He has honorary doctorate degrees from Middlesex University and from Manchester Metropolitan University, where he is a visiting professor at the business school.