NEW YORK (AP) - McDonald's CEO Steve Easterbrook is set to make his debut before shareholders at the company's annual meeting Thursday at a time when the chain is facing declining sales and ongoing protests.

NEW YORK (AP) McDonald's CEO Steve Easterbrook is set to make his debut before shareholders at the company's annual meeting Thursday at a time when the chain is facing declining sales and ongoing protests.

Easterbrook, who stepped into his role in March, has already laid out the beginnings of a plan he says will help revive the business. That includes simplifying the company's corporate structure and reducing costs.

The company, which is based in Oak Brook, Illinois, and has more than 36,000 locations around the world, is struggling with rapidly changing tastes and intensifying competition.

It has also been the target of ongoing protests, with labor organizers and workers calling for pay of $15 an hour and a union. More protests are expected outside the meeting Thursday.