McDonald's Corp. has named Don Thompson, president and chief operating officer, to its board of directors, effective immediately.
As president/COO, Thompson directs global strategy and operations for more than 32,000 McDonald's units in 117 countries. He began his career at McDonald's in 1990 as an electrical engineer before moving over to the operations side.
Thompson has held a variety of leadership positions, including U.S. COO, executive vice president and division president and president of McDonald's USA.
"Don provides our global organization with energetic and experienced leadership, and has a passion and commitment to the core values of the company," said McDonald's CEO Jim Skinner. "The board will greatly benefit from his perspective."
In addition to his new seat, Thompson serves on the board of directors for the Exelon Corporation in Chicago, one of the nation's largest electric companies, and at Northwestern Memorial Hospital. He also serves on the board of trustees for Purdue University, and is a member of the Executive Leadership Council, an organization comprised of the nation's most-recognized African-American executives.
New global brand officer named
On the same day Thompson's board appointment was announced, McDonald's Corp. also named Kevin Newell as an executive vice president and global chief brand officer, effective Feb. 1. Newell is currently U.S. senior vice president and restaurant support officer for McDonald's USA West Division.
The global CBO position, most recently held by McDonald's Europe president Steve Easterbrook, oversees marketing, menu innovation, consumer insights and other global brand assets at McDonald's. Newell also will provide strategic input on corporate social responsibility and restaurant architecture.
Newell, 53, will report to Thompson.
"Kevin brings a winning combination of talent and knowledge to his new role," said Thompson. "He has a solid background in marketing, brand building and operations which McDonald's has benefitted from for more than 20 years. He understands how to connect with our customers in compelling and relevant ways."
Newell joined McDonald's in 1989 as a field media manager in the international marketing department. Prior, he worked for Burrell Advertising and Leo Burnett, USA where he supported brands such as Keebler and Green Giant.
He worked his way up in the McDonald's structure, adding responsibility in regional marketing positions before being promoted to marketing division officer for the Central Division in 2001.
Newell joined Black Entertainment Television Company as vice president and general sales manager of the Midwest Region in 2004, where he led sales, sales support and research.
In 2005 he returned to McDonald's, and in 2006 was promoted to U.S. vice president and general manager of the Great Southern Region. Most recently, Newell served as U.S. senior vice president and restaurant support officer for the West Division of the United States and was responsible for operations, talent management and diversity planning, as well as supporting the business strategies of more than 4,000 restaurants.