INTERVIEW: Managing a global fast-food brand while also performing in classical concerts and on TV ads: what else does Dr George T. Yang want to do? The Chairman of McDonald’s in the Philippines has achieved much of his ambitions, but he still harbours goals for his employees.
COS Asia: Are there still some things that you have not accomplished to enhance McDonald’s Philippines as a top employer, and as a brand?
Yang: We stick to fair labour practices and will consistently advocate training and development. We will always look after our 40,000 workforce members as this is our contribution to society – to be a responsible employer.
In our 40th year in the Philippines, we always have new opportunities to be a more relevant brand. Making feel-good moments easy for our customers will always be our North Star. I look forward to customers enjoying the exciting things coming.
COS Asia: What are your aspirations for your employees?
Yang: Our goal is to always grow with our employees, so they can support themselves and their families. I want them to have honest, meaningful work to become better professionals and people. I always tell them that hard work, focus, persistence, and determination are irreplaceable, especially during hard times. Success has no easy way.
COS Asia: You were in musicals and even a TV commercial once. Are there any other talents that the Philippine public does not yet know of?
Yang: Singing came accidentally and late in life. It’s never too late to live your dreams. You can start something new regardless of your age. I hope you saw that video (a local TV profile)!
My newfound passion for classical music and performing led me to form the Klassikal Music Foundation, which trains Philippine classical singers. I look forward to holding more benefit concerts featuring the scholars to showcase their talents and hopefully inspire more young Filipinos to keep classical music alive.
COS Asia: Do you have any leadership idols?
Yang: I look up to Ray Kroc, McDonald’s global founder. He invited me for lunch one time. The guy was down to earth, not the bookish type, and even played the piano. He founded McDonald’s, his calling, at 56 years old while selling a milkshake machine. He visualised McDonald’s presence in the US. I admire him for his focus on quick service, cleanliness, and humility. He stuck to his principles and values.
COS Asia: What are your favourite McDonald’s products?
Yang: I always get Chicken McDo (a unique item on the local menu), Quarter Pounder with Cheese, and the world-famous fries!
This feature was extracted from Chief of Staff Asia's exclusive interview with Dr George T. Yang, chairman and founder of McDonald’s Philippines. For further coverage please see any of the below links: