SAN DIEGO - McDonald's officials are scrambling to reassure investors that the corporation's success in the past year is not threatened by the recent death of Marlon Brando. Skittish investors are clearly not buying into their arguments, dumping millions of shares and driving the company's stock down eighteen percent in mid-day trading.
One prominent stockholder, speaking on condition of anonymity, granted a phone interview this morning. His voice shaking, he said, "All that I've built over the years, and it comes to this. Brando is dead, and so is my empire. I swear to God, I had my head in the oven when you called."
Executives call such reactions overstated. "At no point did Brando represent more than 72% of our global revenues," spokesman Charlie Englert said. "That leaves 28%, and we pull in billions every year. So let's face it, we're still one of the biggest companies in the world." Company actions, however, didn't always match their words. Corporate leadership quietly passed down the word to expect massive layoffs and closings of thousands of existing stores. Plans for new stores, already blunted by the recession, have been shut down completely.
Former President Bill Clinton was not available for comment.