McDonald’s scraps the global CMO role as Silvia Lagnado departs

McDonald’s is one of a growing number of companies scrapping the global CMO role in favour of spreading marketing responsibilities more broadly across the business.

MCDonald'sMcDonald’s is scrapping its global CMO role, a move precipitated by the departure of Silvia Lagnado, who has held the role for the past four years but is planning to leave the company in October.

Rather than finding a like-for-like replacement, McDonald’s is instead creating two new roles at senior vice-president (SVP) level who will take on most of her responsibilities.

Colin Mitchell, previously vice-president of global brand, will become SVP of global marketing, reporting into CEO Steve Easterbrook. He previously worked agency side at Ogilvy & Mather before joining McDonald’s in 2016 as vice-president of global brand.

Bob Rupczynski, meanwhile, has been promoted to SVP of marketing technology, reporting into chief information officer Daniel Henry. He joined McDonald’s in 2017 as corporate vice-president of global media, CRM and digital merchandising and has previously worked in marketing roles at brands including Mondelēz, Kraft Foods and Wrigley.

The shake-up of the marketing structure sees McDonald’s become the latest company to ditch the board-level CMO role. Johnson & Johnson recently scrapped its global CMO position following the departure of Alison Lewis, with the company saying it would split her responsibilities among current members of her team.

US ride-sharing app Lyft also chose not to replace its CMO Joy Howard, splitting her role between a vice-president of marketing operations and a vice-president of brand. Uber, meanwhile, got rid of its global CMO role when Rebecca Messing departed last month after less than a year in the position.

It is not clear if Lagnado has a new role to go to, although Easterbrook wrote in an email to staff seen by AdAge that she was leaving to “pursue new challenges and opportunities”. He credited her with defining the brand’s purpose, helping create its universal visual identity, establishing a programme to improve creativity and working to use data to make it more customer-centric.

Lagnado has held several senior marketing roles at companies including Bacardi, where she was CMO, and Unilever, where she spent more than 20 years working across brands including Knorr and Dove.

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