McDonald's Names Kevin Newell Global Chief Brand Officer

Longtime Company Vet Previously Headed Restaurant Support in U.S. West Division

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CHICAGO (AdAge.com) -- McDonald's Corp. has named Kevin Newell exec VP-global chief brand officer, replacing Steve Easterbrook, who in December became president of McDonald's Europe.

Kevin Newell
Kevin Newell

"Kevin brings a winning combination of talent and knowledge to his new role," McDonald's Chief Operating Officer Don Thompson said in a statement. "He has a solid background in marketing, brand building and operations, which McDonald's has benefited from for more than 20 years. He understands how to connect with our customers in compelling and relevant ways."

Mr. Newell's new post encompasses marketing, menu innovation, consumer insights and other global brand assets at McDonald's, as well as corporate social responsibility and restaurant design.

McDonald's had named Mr. Easterbrook exec VP-global chief brand officer in August 2010 -- the first person assigned to that post -- and in less than three months named him president-McDonald's Europe, succeeding Dennis Hennequin, who resigned in November to take a CEO post at Accor Hotels Group. Prior to the global chief brand officer position, Mr. Easterbrook was president-CEO of McDonald's U.K. and president-Europe's Northern Division.

Mr. Newell joined McDonald's in 1989 as a field media manager in the international marketing department. He held several roles throughout the next decade in regional marketing positions with McDonald's, and in 2001 was promoted to marketing-division officer for the central division in the U.S. In 2004 Mr. Newell joined Viacom's BET cable network as VP-general sales manager. He returned to McDonald's in 2005 and in 2006 became U.S. VP-general manager for the Great Southern Region. He most recently served as U.S. senior and restaurant support officer for the west division of the U.S.

Prior to joining McDonald's he had stints at Burrell Communications and Leo Burnett Worldwide. Both agencies are on the McDonald's marketing roster.

McDonald's earlier this week reported a global same-store sales increase of 5% for the full year 2010.

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