Silvia Lagnado, global CMO and evp of McDonald’s, will step down from her post in October. The company’s CEO, Steve Easterbrook, announced the impending departure in a memo to employees on Monday. McDonald’s confirmed previous reports of the departure to Adweek.
For now, McDonald’s will not be appointing a new global CMO to Lagnado’s post. Instead, two new senior vp-level positions have been created and filled in the marketing department: Colin Mitchell has been named svp, global marketing and Bob Rupczynski will be svp, marketing technology. Mitchell will report directly to Easterbrook, while Rupczynski will report to Daniel Henry, executive vp and chief information officer.
Lagnado has served as the CMO for McDonald’s since August 2015, and joined the company that same year. During her time at McDonald’s, she was involved in several facets of the brand’s marketing, insights and strategy business. In a memo to employees, Easterbrook credited Lagnado as being the “driving force” behind some of the brand’s biggest marketing efforts of the past few years, including the McDonald’s partnership with Disney, which saw the return of Disney-themed toys to the restaurant chain’s signature Happy Meals, as well as the company’s recently unveiled visual identity.
Multiple sources told Adweek that despite outward perceptions of Lagnado’s success at the company, internal tensions existed between her and other members of the McDonald’s leadership team. One former employee also felt that the brand wasn’t being innovative enough with its marketing, particularly in comparison with competitors like Burger King or Wendy’s. As of press time, a representative for McDonald’s has not responded to a request for comment on these reports.
According to MacroTrends, revenue at McDonald’s has declined every year since 2013, however, that’s likely due to the significant decrease in the number of McDonald’s locations that are company-owned (as compared to franchises). In 2013, 6,738 of McDonald’s stores were company-owned, compared to 2,770 last year. Sales at franchise locations have increased year-over-year in that time frame, according to the 10-K for McDonald’s from 2018.
Before arriving at McDonald’s, Lagnado spent two years as the CMO of Bacardi, and started her career at Unilever, where she worked for two decades.