McDonald replaces Steve Easterbrook who has moved to the newly created position of vice president and global chief brand officer.
The newly created position encompasses marketing, menu innovation, consumer insight and “other global brand assets”.
The company says he will also “provide strategic leadership” on restaurant design and corporate social responsibility.
McDonald recently oversaw the launch of its London 2012-themed campaign that focuses on British farming. She also led on the most recent installment of its “That’s What Makes McDonald’s” campaign, which focuses on the message that its burgers are made from whole cuts of real beef.
A spokesman for McDonald’s says it is “far too early” to say if McDonald will be replaced.
McDonald joined the fast-food change in 2006 from British Airways where she spent 16 years, latterly as general manager global marketing.
Easterbrook was appointed CEO of the UK business in 2006 and president of the Northern European Division in 2007.