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Peter Ritchie AO

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Founder, McDonald's Aust.

Peter Ritchie was the first employee of the McDonald's system outside North America.  In 1973, Peter was appointed Managing Director Australia. During the 70s and 80s he played a major role in every aspect of the company’s development and later, under his leadership as Chief Executive, McDonald’s Australia grew to more than 500 stores and 50,000 employees. He is now a director of many blue chip Australian companies, including Seven Network, Mortgage Choice, Tennis Australia, 1800 Reverse and University of NSW foundation.

About Peter Ritchie

Peter Ritchie trained as an accountant and worked for a firm of Chartered Accountants whilst at university. From 1966-69 he worked in London for the International Wool Secretariat and for a firm of management consultants. Returning to Sydney he managed a property development company before being approached in 1970 to join McDonald’s and train in the United States.

Peter was the first employee of McDonald’s Australia and the first employee of the McDonald’s system outside North America. During the 70’s and 80’s he played a major role in every aspect of the company’s development from establishing raw product suppliers to the construction of new stores and the development of training programmes.

McDonald’s Australia grew to more than 500 stores and 50,000 employees during his time as Chief Executive.

In 1983 and 1991 he was a member of the Board of the US parent company, McDonald’s Corporation, and helped establish McDonald’s in most of the countries in Asia and the Pacific including Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia and New Zealand. He was a founding Board Member of McDonald’s Hong Kong, Malaysia and New Zealand.

In December 1995, Peter announced his retirement from an executive role at McDonald’s Australia after 25 years with the company. Peter was non-executive Chairman of the Board from 1995 until his resignation in December 2001.

Peter is Chairman of Mortgage Choice Australia Limited, Deputy Chairman of the Seven Network Limited and a director of Reverse Corp Ltd and Tennis Australia.

He has always been an enthusiastic sportsman having represented NSW and Australian Universities in water polo and Manly-Warringah in surf lifesaving. He still plays competition tennis and is a keen golfer.

He holds a Bachelor of Commerce Degree from the University of NSW and is a Fellow of the Australian Society of CPA’s.

On 9 June 2003, Peter was honoured with an Order of Australia award for service to business, education and industry development in Australia by providing employment opportunities and training for young people, and to the community through corporate, financial and material support for health and educational facilities.

Presentation Topics Include

  • Business, education and industry development
  • Employment opportunities and training for young people

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