Newell, who is currently senior vice president and restaurant support officer in the US, will replace Steve Easterbrook who left to become president of its European business after just two months in the job.
The global brand chief role was created in August with a brief to “elevate the McDonald’s brand”. Newell will have responsibility for marketing, menu innovation, consumer insights, other “global brand assets” and to provide strategic input on corporate social responsibility and restaurant architecture.
He will take up the role on 1 February and report to president and chief operating officer Don Thompson.
Most recently, Newell was responsible for operations, talent management and diversity planning, as well as supporting the business strategies of more than 4,000 restaurants in the US.
He previously held a number of regional marketing roles within McDonald’s and agencies including Burrell Advertising and Leo Burnett.
Easterbrook’s initial move to global brand head led to UK chief marketing officer Jill McDonald taking over as CEO of McDonald’s UK.
Alistair Macrow, UK vice-president of marketing, stepped into her role.