The U.S. executive team at McDonald's Corp. is finally in place after a year of high-profile changes. And in a surprise, VP-Advertising Roy Bergold Jr. remains a part of it.
The nation's largest restaurant company today is set to tell employees that Mr. Bergold, a 30-year veteran of the chain, has decided not to retire.
Impressed with the renewed vitality at McDonald's under new leadership, the 54-year-old executive said he wants to give his job another chance. He was set to leave July 15.
"It's like when two people have decided to get divorced and neither really wants to," Mr. Bergold told Advertising Age.
He made the decision just two weeks after the burger giant named a new senior VP of U.S. marketing, Larry Zwain, and six months after new President Alan Feldman stepped in to run the company's massive 12,500-unit U.S. operation.
Mr. Zwain and Mr. Feldman, former Pizza Hut executives, are considered company outsiders, and both are viewed as bringing important new thinking to McDonald's.
Mr. Bergold "and I just really hit it off," Mr. Zwain said. "He is going to be my chief source of creative leadership and continuity."
Mr. Bergold will continue to be in charge of the company's national advertising efforts. McDonald's, the biggest media spender in the $100 billion U.S. fast-food business, pours about $600 million a year into advertising, according to Competitive Media Reporting.
In interviews both executives said they see no changes in agency relationships for now. In light of all the executive changes, speculation has run high about a possible account shift or consolidation.
"We're always looking to improve and be more effective, but we haven't considered consolidation at this point," Mr. Zwain said. "To me efficiency is important, but that's not the priority. To me the highest priority is effectiveness, and there's a difference between efficiency and effectiveness."
Leo Burnett USA, Chicago, handles advertising for kids, while DDB Needham handles adults. Roster agencies also include Burrell Communications Group, Chicago; del Rivero Messianu, Coral Gables, Fla.; Frankel, Chicago; Marketing Store Worldwide, Chicago; and Simon Marketing, Oakbrook Terrace, Ill.
Mr. Bergold's decision to stay at McDonald's may be disappointing for Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism.
The ad executive, an affable man who likes fine wine and music but is also described as down to earth, had all but accepted a position as director of the school's advertising program.
Copyright February 1999, Crain Communications Inc.