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经济类文章精选:Fast-food succession

http://www.sina.com.cn 2006/06/05 15:55  新东方

  2 Fast-food succession

  Another change at the top

  CHARLIE BELL became chief executive of McDonald's in April. Within a month doctors told him that he had colorectal cancer. After stockmarket hours on Nove
mber 22nd, the fast-food firm said he had resigned; it would need a third boss in under a year. Yet when the market opened, its share price barely dipped then edged higher. After all, McDonald's had, again, shown how to act swiftly and decisively in appointing a new boss.

  Mr Bell himself got the top job when Jim Cantalupo died of a heart attack hours before he was due to address a convention of McDonald's franchisees. Mr Cantalupo was a McDonald's veteran brought out of retirement in January 2003 to help remodel the firm after sales began falling because of dirty restaurants, indifferent service and growing concern about junk food. He devised a recovery plan, backed by massive marketing, and promoted Mr Bell to chief operating officer. When Mr Cantalupo died, a rapidly convened board confirmed Mr Bell, a 44-year-old Australian already widely seen as his heir apparent, in the top job. The convention got its promised chief executive's address, from the firm's first non-American leader.

  Yet within weeks executives had to think about what to do if Mr Bell became too ill to continue. Perhaps Mr Bell had the same thing on his mind: he usually introduced Jim Skinner, the 60-year-old vice-chairman, to visitors as the "steady hand at the wheel". Now Mr Skinner (pictured), an expert on the firm's overseas operations, becomes chief executive, and Mike Roberts, head of its American operations, joins the board as chief operating officer.

  Is Mr Roberts now the new heir apparent? Maybe. McDonald's has brought in supposedly healthier choices such as salads and toasted sandwiches worldwide and, instead of relying for most of its growth on opening new restaurants, has turned to upgrading its 31,000 existing ones. America has done best at this; under Mr Roberts, like-for-like sales there were up by 7.5% in October on a year earlier.

  The new team's task is to keep the revitalisation plan on course, especially overseas, where some American brands are said to face political hostility from consumers. This is a big challenge. Is an in-house succession the best way to tackle it? Mr Skinner and Mr Roberts are both company veterans, having joined in the 1970s. Some recent academic studies find that the planned succession of a new boss groomed from within, such as Mr Bell and now (arguably) Mr Roberts, produces better results than looking hastily, or outside, for one. McDonald's smooth handling of its serial misfortunes at the top certainly seems to prove the point. Even so, everyone at McDonald's must be hoping that it will be a long time before the firm faces yet another such emergency.

  Economist; 11/27/2004, Vol. 373 Issue 8403, p64-65, 2p, 1c

  注(1):本文选自Economist;11/27/2004, p64-65, 2p, 1c;

  注(2):本文习题命题模仿2000年真题text 1第1题(1),1995年真题text 1第2题(2),2002年真题text 2第2题(3),1998年真题text 2第2题(4)和1999年真题text 1第4题(5);

  1.The main reason for the constant change at the top of McDonald is ________.

  [A] the board’s interference

  [B] the falling sales

  [C] the health problems of the chief executives

  [D] the constant change of its share price

  2.Which of the following was NOT a cause of the falling sales of McDonald?

  [A] the change of the chief executive

  [B] people’s concern about junk food

  [C] dirty restaurant

  [D] indifferent service

  3.The phrase “heir apparent” (Line 7, Paragraph 2) in the article most probably


  [A] someone who has the same ideas, aims and style with a person

  [B] someone who has the unalienable right to receive the family title

  [C] someone who is appointed as a heir of a person

  [D] someone who is likely to take over a person’s position when that person leaves

  4.In terms of succession at the top, McDonald_________.

  [A] has had to made rather hasty decisions

  [B] prefers to appoint a new boss from within

  [C] acts in a quick and unreasonable way

  [D] surprises all the people with its decisions

  5.Toward McDonald’s reaction to emergencies at the top, the writer’s attitude can be said to be___________.

  [A] indifferent

  [B] doubtful

  [C] objective

  [D] praiseful

  答案:C A D B D





  colorectal: [9kEJlE`rektEl] adj. [解]结肠直肠的

  franchisee: [9frAntFaI`zi:] n. 总经销商, 有代销权的人或团体

  veteran: [5vetErEn] n. 老资格;老手

  heirs apparent: 有继承权的人;公认的继任者

  like-for-like: 同类的

  revitalization: [ri:9vaItLlaI`zeIFLn] n. 振兴;复兴

  in-house: [in5haus] adj. 内部的

  groom: [^ru:m] v. 培训;培植


  1. Mr Cantalupo was a McDonald's veteran brought out of retirement in January 2003 to help remodel the firm after sales began falling because of dirty restaurants, indifferent service and growing concern about junk food.

  主体句式:Mr. Canalupo was a McDonald’s veteran.

  结构分析:这是一个复杂句,表语veteran后面有一个过去分词短语brought out of retirement作后置定语,这个定语还带有自己的两个状语,一个是不定式短语做目的状语,另外一个是after引导的时间状语从句,这个从句中还有一个because of引导的原因状语。bring sb. out of retirement的意思是“将某人从退休状态召回”。


  2. Even so, everyone at McDonald's must be hoping that it will be a long time before the firm faces yet another such emergency.

  主体句式:everyone must be hoping that…

  结构分析:这个句子中包含一个由that引导的宾语从句和由before引导的状语从句。这个句子的难点在before这个词的理解上。通常before可以译为“才”。例如:It had been two days before I realized the problem. (过了两天我才意识到这个问题。)



  1. 答案为C,属事实细节题。文章第一段提及Charlie Bell辞职的原因是他患了直肠癌;接着又在第二段说他升任总裁是因为他的前任在准备讲演时因为心脏病突发而去世。这样,麦当劳在一年内就不得不寻找第三位总裁。可见麦当劳高层频繁更换人员的原因是这些总裁的健康问题。

  2. 答案为A,属事实细节题。可参见文章第二段第四行because of…后面的部分。

  3. 答案为D,属猜词题。根据上下文,Charlie Bell被Jim Cantalupo提拔为首席运营官之后,被广泛视为是他的heir apparent,接着作者在第四段发问,现任的首席运营官会不会是现任总裁的heir apparent呢?显然,这个词组的意思应该是“接替某人职位”的人。

  4. 答案为B,属推理判断题。根据文章,三位总裁都是在麦当劳内部管理人才,而且下一位继任者也已经内定,这种内部选定继任者的办法帮助麦当劳在一连串不幸事件发生后能够平稳交接。可见麦当劳更愿意从内部任命新老板。

  5. 答案为D,属推理判断题。作者在第一段末评论麦当劳的行动时说道:“麦当劳又一次显示了其在任命新老板方面的快速决断能力。”在文末对麦当劳的内部接任方式进行总结时,作者引用某些学术研究的成果,认为这种方式的效果更好,并以“麦当劳在高层发生一连串的不幸事件后能够平静地交接似乎清楚地证明了这一点。”来加以说明。可见作者对于麦当劳处理类似发生在高层的突发事件的反应是持赞扬态度的。



  贝尔先生本人是在吉姆·坎塔卢波(Jim Cantalupo)死于心脏病突发之后得到这一高层职位的。当时坎塔卢波正准备在几个小时之后的麦当劳特许经销商会议上致词。坎塔卢波在麦当劳工作过多年,在公司因为餐厅环境不卫生,服务态度差,以及人们对“垃圾食品”的不断质疑导致业绩下降之后,2003年他被从退休中召回,帮助公司进行改革。他制定了一项在大规模营销基础上的振兴计划,并且将贝尔先生提拔为首席运营官。坎塔卢波先生去世后,董事会很快开会确定任命贝尔先生,这位早就被公认为其继任者的44岁澳大利亚人担任这一首席职位。这次会议从该公司的第一位非美国籍的领导人那里得到了其许诺的公司首席执行官的讲演。




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