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McDonald's Hires Two Outsiders for U.S. Marketing Roles

By Published on .

Kenny Mitchell is joining McDonald's USA as vice president of brand content and engagement. Lizette Williams is joining McDonald's USA as head of cultural engagement.
Kenny Mitchell is joining McDonald's USA as vice president of brand content and engagement. Lizette Williams is joining McDonald's USA as head of cultural engagement. Credit: McDonalds

McDonald's is hiring two marketing executives for its U.S. business, the latest additions of outsiders from the consumer goods industry as the Golden Arches seeks fresh perspectives to shake up its approach.

Kenny Mitchell is joining as McDonald's USA's VP of brand content and engagement and Lizette Williams is coming in as head of cultural engagement. The appointments come after PepsiCo's Morgan Flatley joined McDonald's last year as its U.S. chief marketing officer.

Mitchell joins McDonald's Feb. 5 from PepsiCo's Gatorade, where he was head of consumer engagement, leading global integrated marketing. Mitchell fills a post left vacant after Joel Yashinsky left McDonald's in 2017.

Williams is joining January 29 from Kimberly-Clark, where she was the packaged goods maker's North American multicultural marketing leader. Prior to Kimberly-Clark, she also worked at PepsiCo on its Quaker brand. In her position, a new one at McDonald's, she'll be responsible for developing the company's efforts to build brand devotion among multicultural customers.

Both Mitchell and Williams will report to Flatley, who was best known for her work on the Gatorade brand before she joined McDonald's. (Both Flatley and Williams have been on Ad Age's Women to Watch list.)

McDonald's USA is currently promoting its new $1 $2 $3 Dollar Menu. Other U.S. marketing plans for 2018 include the upcoming rollout of "hot off the grill" burgers, or those made with fresh patties. McDonald's, the nation's 33rd largest advertiser according to the Ad Age Datacenter, works mainly with its dedicated creative agency, Omnicom Group's We Are Unlimited.

McDonald's has brought in a number of leaders from outside the company in recent years. Among them, Chris Kempczinski joined McDonald's in 2015 from Kraft Heinz Co. and became McDonald's U.S. president at the beginning of 2017. Bob Rupczynski took on the newly created role of global VP of media and customer relationship management in 2017, following positions at food marketers including Mondelez International and Kraft. Starbucks VP Linda VanGosen joined McDonald's last year as head of U.S. menu.

We Are Unlimited has also looked outside for fresh leadership. ICrossing's Mark Mulhern became the agency's CEO earlier this month.

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