Industry News | August 24, 2010

McDonald's Lines Up New Executive VP

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McDonald's Corporation announced that Steve Easterbrook, president and CEO of McDonald's United Kingdom and president of Europe's Northern Division, was named McDonald's executive vice president and global chief brand officer.

The role of global chief brand officer is a newly created position designed to encompass marketing, menu innovation, consumer insights, and other global brand assets at McDonald's. Easterbrook will also provide strategic leadership on corporate social responsibility and restaurant architecture.

"McDonald's is among the most recognized brands in the world, and that's an honor we embrace everyday," Easterbrook says. "Given our outstanding global performance, we have a tremendous opportunity to go even further in showing our customers what makes us unique as the leader in our industry."

Easterbrook will report to president and chief operating officer Don Thompson effective September 1.

"Steve has earned tremendous respect for his inspired leadership and his proven track record of driving the business in the U.K. and Northern Europe," Thompson says. "Our customers rely on our brand to deliver high-quality food at the convenience and value they expect from McDonald's. This strategic position will help us better serve and connect with our customers."

Easterbrook's promotion reflects McDonald's solid succession planning process and its deep bench of talented leaders aligned around the company's Plan to Win.

"We're confident that Steve is the right person to step up and help keep our brand relevant and contemporary around the world," says McDonald's CEO Jim Skinner. "This new position is a natural evolution of our commitment to our customers and our pledge to be better, not just bigger."

Easterbrook is a 16-year McDonald's veteran with experience in finance, operations, and supply chain. He took over as CEO of the U.K. in April 2006, and added responsibility for Sweden, Finland, Denmark, Norway, and Ireland in January 2007. Under his leadership, the U.K. transformed and improved the restaurant experience for the two million customers McDonald's serves there each day and further enhanced the employment experience for its 85,000 staff. That includes a major effort to remodel and modernize McDonald's restaurants, revitalize the menu with more choice and variety, and increase investment on staff training to better serve customers and encourage personal development. Easterbrook also has done groundbreaking work around employment image, redefining for the public what it means to work at McDonald's. He and his family will be relocating to Oak Brook, Illinois.

In related news, Jill McDonald, who is chief marketing officer for Northern Europe, will succeed Easterbrook as CEO of the U.K. and president of Northern Europe. She will report to Denis Hennequin, president of McDonald's Europe.

"Jill's ability to drive innovation in our menu and in the way that we communicate with our customers has been key to our success in the UK," Hennequin says. "With her strong leadership and strategic skills, I'm delighted that she'll be leading our business in the UK and Northern Europe".

McDonald joined the company in 2006 with extensive marketing experience from global brands such as Colgate Palmolive and British Airways.