The announcement was originally made by Chairman-CEO Jack Greenberg to franchisees at their worldwide convention late Tuesday, according to two attendees.
Tom Ryan, executive vice president of marketing for the U.S., will remain in that position, a spokeswoman said today. "The new [global] position has no impact on U.S. positions," she said.
Mr. Ryan is the executive in charge of menu development who launched the burger giant's New Tastes Menu that rotates special limited-time offers. He is the last remaining outsider originally brought in by McDonald's USA's former president, Alan Feldman, who departed in the fall during a massive corporate reorganization.
Franchisees who spoke to AdAge.com said that during one of the Las Vegas convention sessions, Mr. Greenberg acknowledged "marketing was broken" and that the company was working to fix it.
Mr. Greenberg's original announcement, made during the mid-point of the general session, was met with rousing applause, said one attendee, a multiple-unit franchisee. "It was one of the best applauses of the day," the franchisee said.
McDonald's spokeswoman today disputed that characterization of the audience reaction.
Among the larger challenges for the company are quality and service complaints that have plagued the chain since installing its "Made For You" kitchen system.