VMLY&R Promotes McKay Hathaway to ECD on Wendy’s Account

By Kyle O'Brien 

VMLY&R has promoted McKay Hathaway to executive creative director for the Wendy’s account, leading creative teams in the U.S. He will report to North American CCO John Godsey.

Hathaway is tasked with guiding the overall creative vision and execution for Wendy’s, ensuring the brand retains its cheeky brand voice and wit—including its presence on social media and streaming platforms such as TikTok, Twitter and Twitch, on which it made a splash with its Wendy character.

Hathaway has been leading and growing the brand’s creative for VMLY&R since 2017, most recently as group creative director, spearheading the brand’s expansion across social and digital, specifically in gaming. Under his leadership, the brand and agency landed a Cannes Grand Prix for “Keeping Fortnite Fresh” in 2019. Other campaigns he has worked on for the brand include “Feast of Legends” and “National Roast Day.”


Recently, Hathaway pushed to expand Wendy’s reach in the gaming community, growing the brand’s Twitch following to over 100,000 and earning partner status, reserved for only the top 1% of all Twitch streamers.

Additionally, his Wendy’s work has been recognized at D&AD, The One Show, Art Directors Club, The Clios, Effies, Andy’s, 4A’s and the AAF.

“McKay is the perfect example that you can be a great, breakthrough creative and a great human at the same time, which is what makes him such a brilliant creative leader,” Godsey, chief creative officer, North America, VMLY&R, said in a statement. “The work he leads for Wendy’s consistently makes others jealous across the industry and his relentless, never-settle attitude never ceases to amaze me. He’s an important part of pushing this great brand forward.”

“I’m very lucky to be surrounded by such talented people and have incredible clients who trust us completely,” said Hathaway in a statement. “I couldn’t be prouder of the work we produce together.”

Before joining VMLY&R, Hathaway worked for Leo Burnett, Crispin Porter + Bogusky, Kastner and MullenLowe.