Peter Ritchie AO

Former Chairman, McDonald’s Australia

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.

He has also served on the Boards of a number of listed and unlisted companies including Westpac Banking Corporation, Solution 6 Holdings, Seven Group Holdings Limited, Mortgage Choice Limited, Reverse Corp Limited and Golf Australia.

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

Peter holds a Bachelor of Commerce Degree from the University of NSW.

In 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.

In 2013, Peter received a Doctor of Business degree, honoris causa, from The University of New South Wales in recognition of his eminent service to the community and to The University of New South Wales.

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