McDonald’s brings back the global CMO role less than a year after scrapping it

McDonald’s is promoting former UK marketer Alistair Macrow to the global role as it looks to marketing to help its recovery after the coronavirus pandemic forced many of its restaurants to close.

McDonald's ceo leavingMcDonald’s has brought back the global CMO role less than a year after scrapping it, as it looks to “reestablish strong business momentum” after coronavirus.

Alistair Macrow, who is a former UK marketing boss at McDonald’s and was most recently CMO of its international operated markets business, will take on the role. He will be responsible for both marketing strategy and the career development of the brand’s marketing teams.

Macrow’s appointment comes less than a year after McDonald’s shook up its marketing structure following the departure of global CMO Silvia Lagnado. The changes removed marketing from the McDonald’s board, with Colin Mitchell taking on the role of senior vice-president of global marketing and Bob Rupczynski appointed SVP of marketing technology (a job he retains).

However, with Mitchell leaving the business for a “new challenge”, CEO Chris Kempczinski has opted to bring back the global CMO role to focus on building the McDonald’s brand.

“Having worked with consumer brands my entire career, and now with the privilege of leading one of the greatest and most recognisable brands in the world, I have seen first-hand the power a strong brand has in delivering a successful business strategy,” says Kempczinski. “A brand is so much more than a logo; it’s a statement of values, intent and aspirations that consumers consciously (and unconsciously) choose to associate with.”

Macrow, who has previously worked at Blockbuster and Marks & Spencer, has been with McDonald’s for 13 years after joining in 2007 as UK marketing director. As CMO, he will be responsible for global menu strategy, brand, insights, family and marketing enablement, and developing and strengthening the company’s marketing training programs and career planning.

Macrow will work closely with Morgan Flatley, who has become US chief marketing and digital customer experience officer. This role will cover field marketing, digital, media, CRM, brand content and engagement, consumer insights and strategy, as well as menu for the US market.

Flatley will report to McDonald’s US president Joe Erlinger  while Macrow will report to Kempczinski. He says: “As we emerge from this global pandemic, consumers’ trust in the McDonald’s brand and compelling marketing programmes in every country where we operate will be critical to re-establish the strong business momentum we enjoyed leading into this crisis.”

McDonald’s was forced to close a number of its stores as a result of Covid-19  and in many places, including the UK, has just begun reopening restaurants.