McDonald's names Lagnado global CMO

The Unilever veteran is the company's first global CMO since 2010; former Obama press secretary Robert Gibbs is named global communications officer

Silvia Lagnado
Silvia Lagnado

It's been a good news week for McDonald's. In its monthly sales report yesterday, the company revealed a global sales dip of only 0.3% — well under what analysts had predicted. Today, the company announced the naming of its first global chief marketing officer since the departure of Mary Dillon in 2010.

She is Silvia Lagnado, who was CMO and president of global brands at Bacardi from 2010 to 2012 and a non-executive director of Sapient USA until its sale to Publicis earlier this year. However, Lagnado spent the bulk of her career with CPG giant Unilever.

Indeed, Lagnado spent more than two decades at Unilever, starting as VP of deodorants for Latin America in 1999 and later progressing to global SVP of Dove and EVP of the company's savory category. She is credited with creating Dove's "Campaign for Real Beauty," one of the most heralded multichannel marketing campaigns fielded in the digital era.

The company also announced the hiring of Robert Gibbs (left), President Barack Obama's first press secretary, as EVP and global chief communications officer. With McDonald's sales slipping and press accounts questioning the future of its business in the U.S., new CEO Steve Easterbrook likely sees in Gibbs a fresh approach to image building in a turnaround situation.

"Returning excitement to our business proposition and brand is foundational to our turnaround plan, and Robert and Silvia will play critical roles in bringing this strategy to life," Easterbrook said in a statement.

Lagnado will report to Easterbrook. U.S. CMO Deborah Wahl will continue to report to Mike Andres, president of McDonald's U.S. operations.

This article first appeared on

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