Updated from 11:14 a.m. EDT

Jim Cantalupo, the longtime McDonald's ( MCD) executive who oversaw a major turnaround at the hamburger chain during just 16 months as chairman and CEO, died of a heart attack Monday. He was 60 years old.

The company quickly named 28-year company veteran Charlie Bell, its chief operating officer and president, to succeed Cantalupo.

Cantalupo died "suddenly and unexpectedly" at a restaurant owners' convention in Orlando, Fla., Andrew J. McKenna, the company's presiding director and new nonexecutive chairman, said in a statement. "Our entire McDonald's system mourns this tragic loss, and our thoughts and prayers are with Jim's wife, Joann, and his family," McKenna said.

Since Cantalupo was named chairman and chief executive Jan. 1, 2003, McDonald's stock has risen 71%, and it is up more than 120% since bottoming two months later. The shares eased Monday, down 71 cents, or 2.6%, at $26.75.

The late CEO is widely credited with reviving the company through a radical program that emphasized growth at existing restaurants, revamped menus and curtailed the company's longtime strategy of unending new-restaurant expansion.

"Cantalupo's primary benefit was to get the whole system moving from when he took over, and really right the ship," said Carl Sibilski, an analyst at Morningstar. "Instead of allocating capital to more store openings, he allocated back to existing stores and back to shareholders."

Cantalupo spent 28 years at McDonald's, starting as controller in 1974, and had been at various times president, vice chairman and chief executive of McDonald's International.

Bell was managing director of McDonald's Australia from 1993 to 1999, when he was appointed president of Asia/Pacific, Middle East and Africa. He was named president and chief operating officer upon Cantalupo's appointment to CEO and had frequently been mentioned as the boardroom's heir apparent.

Citigroup analyst Mark Kalinowski noted that Bell has been with McDonald's since he was 15, when he started as a part-time crew member. "As they say, ketchup runs in his veins," Kalinowski said. At age 19, Bell became the youngest-ever store manager at McDonald's Australia, Kalinowski noted.

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