Just when things were starting to get back on the right track, McDonald’s CEO dies.

McDonald’s chairman and CEO Jim Cantalupo died of an apparent heart attack, the company said in a statement Monday.

“It is with great sadness that I announce that Jim Cantalupo, our chairman and CEO, died suddenly and unexpectedly of an apparent heart attack this morning in Orlando, Fla., ” Andrew J. McKenna, presiding director of the McDonald’s board of directors said in a statement.

McDonald’s CEO Jim Cantalupo died of an apparent heart attack Monday.

Cantalupo, 60, was at the McDonald’s Worldwide Owner/Operator Convention Center when he was stricken.

“Jim was a brilliant man who brought tremendous leadership, energy and passion to his job. He made an indelible mark on McDonald’s system,” McKenna said.

Cantalupo served as chairman and chief executive of the No. 1 fast-food restaurant chain since Jan. 1, 2003. A 30-year veteran of the company, he first joined McDonald’s as controller. In 1985, he was appointed a zone manager responsible for McDonald’s operating regions in the northeastern region. He was appointed president of McDonald’s International in 1987, and president and chief executive officer in 1991.