Earlier this week, McDonald’s USA President Joe Erlinger announced two new appointments to his senior leadership team.

Michael Gonda has been promoted to Senior Vice President and Chief Impact Officer, North America. In this role, he will be responsible for driving the holistic impact strategy across Communications, State and Local Government Relations, Sustainability & ESG, and Philanthropy in the U.S. and Canada. His cross-functional team will proactively engage stakeholders and communities to protect and enhance the McDonald’s brand and more efficiently and effectively partner with global and other markets. Sandy Rodriguez, Vice President, U.S. Communications, will transition to and assume the role of Global Chief Communications Officer for McDonald’s Corporation.

Jami Guthrie has been promoted to Vice President, Strategic Insights and Prioritization. In this role, he will be responsible for managing strategy, insights, analytics, and planning resources, creating an integrated view for the entire U.S. business. This team will help McDonald’s USA to focus on its most critical priorities, eliminate redundancy and inefficiency in work, and enable more rapid innovation and effective collaboration.

“After having the privilege of working with members of the McDonald’s System around the world, it’s an honor to step into this expanded role and lead our newly created North America Impact Team,” Gonda says. “With this opportunity to become more deeply involved in the work to increase our impact in two of our largest markets, I’m looking forward to partnering with teams and leaders across the continent to protect and enhance our brand and business model at such a critical time. I am humbled to lead this effort and work alongside the U.S. Senior Leadership Team as we bring this vision to life.”

Adds Erlinger: “In his time at McDonald’s, Michael has supported the entire System through some of the most significant moments over the past four years. He’s led efforts to advance our brand and global business strategy, including our actions and response to various crises and threats to our business in the U.S. and globally—from the global pandemic to exiting a major market for the first time in our history. Michael’s experience with McDonald’s is marked by incredible results and impact, and above all, he leads with integrity, passion, and deep intellect. I look forward to working with him to expand the power of our brand across McDonald’s USA.”

“McDonald’s has always been a powerhouse at solving problems and scaling innovations faster than its competitors, and our Strategic Insights & Prioritization organization will be a driving force in this effort across the U.S. System,” Guthrie says. “By building more discipline and coordination around upcoming initiatives, tracking data, and working with global partners, we will build a holistic view of the business and better prioritize where we focus. Spearheading this effort is a great honor, and I look forward to doing so alongside the U.S. Senior Leadership Team, Owner/Operators, and our partners.”

“The creation of this function, and Jami’s elevated leadership, demonstrate our commitment to fostering alignment and improving how we focus on solving problems for our customers and our people better than ever before,” Erlinger says. “Jami is known for his deep understanding of our customers and the industry and how those insights impact the bigger picture of where McDonald’s can and should go. I look forward to him joining the U.S. Senior Leadership Team and partnering to deliver on our strategy for the U.S. Business.”

Employee Management, Fast Food, News, Operations, McDonald's