Easterbrook, who left McDonald’s in 2011 to join Pizza Express as CEO, will replace Keven Newell and take responsibility for global marketing, menu development and consumer and business insights.
Newell has been promoted to chief of brand and strategy office for the US business.
Easterbrook was most recently CEO of Japanese restaurant chain Wagamama.
He was president of the European business when he left McDonald’s in 2011. Prior to this he had been corporate executive vice president and chief brand officer, and previously CEO of the UK business.
McDonald’s president and CEO, Don Thompson, says: “Steve has demonstrated dynamic leadership and creative thinking within the restaurant industry and throughout his previous career at McDonald’s. I’m thrilled to welcome him back to the Golden Arches and confident that with his expertise, we will reach customers in new and innovative ways.”