Blame the economy.  Blame the health nuts.  Blame fierce competition.  McDonald's new CEO has arrived, and he's ready to play chicken with America's favorite restaurant.

As Don Thompson moves into his new role, he brings a game plan to shake up consumers perceptions of McDonalds.  The main player in that game plan:  chicken.

Thanks to the lackluster economy, chicken is cheaper than beef.  It's also seen as a healthier alternative to McDonald's standard food fare:  burgers.

However, even as plans are in place to shake up the burger-heavy menu at the fast food restaurant - company spokespeople are quick to point out that McDonald's company strategy has not changed.

McDonald’s New CEO Focuses on Chicken Amid Shaky Economy - Businessweek.