Kay Napier, who in June retired as P&G vice president of North America pharmaceuticals and corporate women's health care, will carry the title of senior vice president of marketing for McDonald's USA. She will report to Larry Light, the fast-food giant's executive vice president and global chief marketing officer. She becomes Mr. Light's first hire since his arrival at McDonald's last month.
"We have one of the top 10 world's greatest brands and we must have one of the world's greatest marketing functions," Mr. Light told AdAge.com.
Ms. Napier, 47, will first
Mr. Light said he doesn't have a specific area of responsibility plotted for Ms. Napier, but that he wanted to tap her strategic point of view and brand experience.
"Quite honestly McDonald's has been, in certain cases, more tactical than strategic," he said. "Part of my responsibility as global chief marketing officer is to take a look at our marketing talent worldwide, not just in the U.S., and make it more disciplined and focused and more strategic-marketing focused. We have lacked focus we have been inconsistent with our focus."
Led pharmaceutical efforts
At P&G, Ms. Napier led the company's U.S. and Canadian pharmaceutical efforts and its entry into the women's health-care arena. She was responsible for what P&G said was the highly successful global launch of Actonel, an osteoporosis drug the company claims has topped sales of $400 million and could reach $1 billion. Ms. Napier reshaped the Actonel campaign around the concept of building strength after her own battle with breast cancer.
Her appointment comes during McDonald's annual global review of its general and administrative costs, which, earlier this week Chairman-CEO Jack Greenberg confirmed, would include layoffs.
Other marketing posts
Ms. Napier is the first of several planned hires by Mr. Light, including a chief marketing officer for Asia and a global head of market research, according to executives with knowledge of the recruiting plans.
"We're not going to make those decisions and announcements about them until we've made them," said Mr. Light. "But we are looking at how to improve our marketing around the world. Some of it will involve investment in education and training, some will involve promoting people internally and certainly we have brought in people from the outside."