The PJ Tatler

McDonald's Hires Robert Gibbs in Quest to Become 'Modern, Progressive Burger Company'

Former White House press secretary Robert Gibbs now wants to know if you’d like fries with that.

Gibbs served as President Obama’s spokesman during the first two years of his term. He left in 2011 to serve as an adviser to the administration, then was picked up as an MSNBC contributor in 2013.

That year he also co-founded The Incite Agency, a strategic communications advisory firm.

McDonald’s corporate headquarters announced today that they’ve hired Gibbs with the title of Executive Vice President, Global Chief Communications Officer.

“Robert and Silvia are both highly-respected, talented leaders who will bring a wealth of experience and outside perspective to McDonald’s as we build a more modern, progressive burger company,” said McDonald’s president and CEO Steve Easterbrook, combining the announcement with the hire of Bacardi executive Silvia Lagnado as Executive Vice President, Global Chief Marketing Officer. “Returning excitement to our business proposition and brand is foundational to our turnaround plan, and Robert and Silvia — with their respective teams — will play critical roles in bringing this strategy to life.”

In his new role, the statement said, Gibbs will lead McDonald’s corporate relations group, “which manages internal and external communications and government and public affairs.”

“He will lead McDonald’s in communicating clear, coordinated messages to internal and external constituencies, enhancing the brand and supporting corporate strategies.”

McDonald’s has more than 36,000 locations in more than 100 countries.

The company announced yesterday that sales were down 2.2 percent in May among “negative customer traffic” and “ongoing competitive activity.”

“McDonald’s has embarked on a turnaround plan to reignite our business performance,” Easterbrook said. “Our talented franchisees, suppliers and employees are placing renewed emphasis on the basics of great-tasting, high-quality food, compelling value and outstanding service. Our goal is to be a modern, progressive burger company that is responsive to consumers’ evolving preferences, provides a contemporary experience for our customers and drives long-term value for our system and our shareholders.”