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McDonald's Hires an Ex-Obama Aide for PR and a New Global CMO

Robert Gibbs, Silvia Lagnado to help build 'more progressive' brand

Silvia Lagnado

McDonald's today announced two key hires who will be tasked with helping the brand build a more progressive company. The fast-food giant tapped Silvia Lagnado, former chief marketing officer for Bacardi, as its evp and global chief marketing officer and added Robert Gibbs, previously the White House press secretary, as its evp and global chief communications officer. 

Lagnado will take over the brand's global brand management, including global marketing, menu and consumer insights. Gibbs, meanwhile, will run the brand's corporate relations group, which manages internal and external communications as well as government and public affairs.

Lagnado and Gibbs will report to McDonald's president and CEO Steve Easterbrook, who said in a statement that both are "highly-respected, talented leaders," and that they will "bring a wealth of experience and outside perspective to McDonald's as we build a more modern, progressive burger company." 

"Returning excitement to our business proposition and brand is foundational to our turnaround plan," said Easterbrook. "Robert and Silvia—with their respective teams—will play critical roles in bringing this strategy to life."

Lagnado most recently served as non-executive director at Sapient. Before that, she served as CMO and president of global brands for Bacardi. The global CMO role at McDonald's has been vacant since Mary Dillion departed in 2010.

Gibbs, who joins from The Incite Agency, a strategic communications advisory firm he co-founded, replaces Bridget Coffing who announced her retirement earlier this year. 

Further information was not immediately available. A McDonald's rep referred Adweek to the company's press release. 

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