Fred Turner, who started as one of Ray Kroc’s original employees at McDonald’s and became CEO, died Monday from complications from pneumonia. He was 80. Turner oversaw much of the restaurant chain’s global expansion and spearheaded the development of Hamburger University.

“Fred’s contributions to McDonald’s are immeasurable,” said Don Thompson, McDonald’s president and CEO. “For more than 50 years, he was dedicated to operations excellence, training and developing a great-tasting menu. He worked side-by-side with Ray to open clean, welcoming restaurants where families could enjoy a high-quality meal and special time together.”

Turner became president and chief administrative officer in 1968, and then CEO in 1974, holding that post until 1987. He was chairman from 1977 until 1990, but remained a strong force in the company as senior chairman.

Turner more than tripled the number of restaurants while he was CEO. He also co-founded and served as a life trustee of the Ronald McDonald House Charities, dedicated to serving families of critically ill children.

Source: Chicago Sun-Times