Women to Watch

Jackie Woodward

By Published on .

Rolling energy is an apropos description for Jackie Woodward.

But the term actually is the name of the marketing concept the McDonald's Corp. VP-global brand business has helped pilot.

"She was a critical person helping us to align the world behind `I'm lovin' it,' " says Larry Light, exec VP-global chief marketing officer.

"She pushed and encouraged the agencies to break the traditional parameters of McDonald's marketing and imagine the possibilities," adds Doug Porter, exec VP-worldwide management director on the McDonald's business at Publicis Groupe's Leo Burnett USA, Chicago. "She can be a bulldog," he says. "She just finds a way around barriers."

"I was focused on making sure we had the right execution," says Ms. Woodward, 42. "You could just sense the system was ready for this and the system was ready to believe again, and all we did was give them the opportunity."

The first-born daughter of a Navy captain and a teacher insists she has had ketchup in her veins since her first exposure to Mickey D's in 1983 as a PR associate at Golin/Harris. Now a key player in crafting McDonald's marketing strategy, she also has developed entertainment alliances including the Walt Disney Co. relationship and the promotion with Sony Corp.'s new Connect music download service.

"My husband calls me the Madeleine Albright of McDonald's," Ms. Woodward says, adding, "In this system, diplomacy is paramount in being able to achieve the kind of success we're seeing."

Responsible for the core moms and kids target, Ms. Woodward oversaw the "McKids" relaunch and led the global makeover for Ronald McDonald to expand the chief happiness officer's appeal "beyond the playpen."

"There's no doubt that Jackie's energy has certainly been part of the renaissance in the global marketing push for McDonald's," says Paul Davy, who heads the San Francisco office of Omnicom Group's OMD and is worldwide account director on the McDonald's business.

Ms. Woodward spends her free time as an international adoption advocate. She and her writer husband, Steve, adopted their 7-year-old daughter in Russia when she was a year old.

When asked where she draws inspiration for her tremendous drive, Ms. Woodward refers to a famous quote from automaking legend Henry Ford: "You can't build a reputation on what you are going to do."

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