Amid lagging sales, McDonald’s announced yesterday that CEO Don Thompson was out, replaced by Steve Easterbrook, previously chief brand officer at the fast-food giant. Easterbrook had been charged with marketing, menu and digital initiatives, and he has also overseen McDonald’s UK and European business units.
From a marketing standpoint–sales woes, nutritionist ire and controversies aside–McDonald’s remains a major advertiser, with hits–take its World Cup ad, which has been hailed as one of the best associated with the global event–and misses, such as its introduction of Happy.
I sat down with Easterbrook at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity in June to learn more about how he was working to build the McDonald’s brand globally—its World Cup activation, for example—and how its new San Francisco-based digital office was designed to strengthen its capabilities and talent base. He admitted at the time that there was much McDonald’s could do to bolster its digital prowess. Now, it turns out, Easterbrook will have to bolster the company’s financial prowess, as well.
Watch our interview here.