Mr. Light, who also adds executive vice president to his title, will report to Chairman-CEO Jack Greenberg and will serve on Mr. Greenberg's enterprise strategy team as well as the company's restaurant operating committee.
An industry veteran of 37 years, he earlier was chairman-CEO of the international division of Cordiant Communication Group's Bates Advertising and executive vice president for marketing and media services for Omnicom Group's BBDO Worldwide, where he began his career. He was an industry representative at Federal Trade Commission and legislative hearings and was the first chairman of the Coalition for Brand Equity.
"In Larry Light, we have selected one of the world's best thought leaders in brand strategy to direct our global marketing efforts,"
Mr. Greenberg first announced the search for the post in April, saying at the time "marketing was broken." The company hired Korn Ferry International to handle the search.
"I look at this as an opportunity to help elevate one of the world's most valuable brands to an even higher level of strength and value," Mr. Light said in a statement. "As a high-water mark in my career in brand management, this is an exciting and singular chance to focus my energies on the implementation side of marketing strategy. I am excited at the prospect of helping assure that the strategy side of brand management connects with execution and produces results -- results for which I will be held accountable."
'Radical' sales plan
Last month, McDonald's named Bill Lamar its senior vice president for U.S. marketing.
The company was in Las Vegas on Wednesday meeting with 350 key franchisees to discuss a "radical" plan to grow sales.