Photo of Don Thompson

Don Thompson

CEO, Founder

What if you blended your true life passion with your professional expertise?  For Don Thompson, founder of Cleveland Avenue, LLC, that means helping entrepreneurs succeed by imparting the wisdom, skills and knowledge he’s gained throughout his impressive career.

Don celebrates people and drives results.  His 25-year ascension through the ranks of McDonald’s Corporation to become its President and CEO is one of the most respected career trajectories in corporate America. An electrical engineer by education and trade, Don approached his leadership of the world’s largest restaurant chain in a strategically methodical manner, while still embracing the warmth and enthusiasm of the dynamic teams around the world. He’s a heart leader with a head for serious business, as evidenced by his achievements such as developing the global platforms for the company’s beverages, sustainability and digital initiatives. 

In 2015, Don left McDonald’s to form Cleveland Avenue, LLC, bringing together his vast restaurant expertise and engineering experience with his passion for innovation, digital trends and startup concepts. Don leads the CA team in bringing creative and consumer-focused restaurant, food and beverage ideas to reality.  Don is committed to mentoring others, fueled by his foundation in faith, family and community. Not to be outdone by the culinary geniuses he regularly encounters, Don occasionally dons a chef’s hat of his own, and enjoys cooking for family and friends.