McDonald's creates chief digital officer position

Oct. 4, 2013

McDonald's Corporation has named Atif Rafiq to its newly created global role of chief digital officer, effective Oct. 21. Rafiq, 40, comes to McDonald's from senior-level positions at and Yahoo!

In this position, Rafiq will lead McDonald's global digital strategy focusing on future growth in e-commerce, modernizing the restaurant experience, and engaging with consumers across the digital landscape, according to a press release. Rafiq will report to Chief Brand Officer Steve Easterbrook.

"Consumers visit and interact with our brand in multiple ways — and digital continues to grow increasingly important to them," Easterbrook said. "Atif will lead a more coordinated and comprehensive digital strategy for our global organization as we deepen our connection with our customers. His cutting-edge thinking, background and expertise will help us drive even greater innovation in this arena."

Rafiq has nearly 20 years of financial and tech industry experience. He was most recently general manager of Kindle Direct Publishing at, overseeing global product management, marketing, design and development. Before that, he led the Y! Local Division as general manager, and global product strategy for the Y! News Division at!

Prior to his time at Amazon and Yahoo!, Rafiq was CEO of a venture capital backed company, and held prior positions with AOL and Goldman Sachs. Rafiq has advised dozens of startups throughout his career in spaces such as mobile commerce, social media, online communities and projects with a hyper-local neighborhood focus.

Rafiq earned a bachelor's degree in mathematics-economics from Wesleyan University and holds a master's degree in finance and marketing from the University of Chicago.

"Bringing Atif onto our leadership team represents a tremendous opportunity for McDonald's to elevate our restaurant experience and strengthen the bond we share with our customers in new ways," said McDonald's President and CEO Don Thompson.

Read more about digital marketing initiatives.

Topics: Marketing / Branding / Promotion , Online / Mobile / Social , Operations Management

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