McDonald’s titles new global CMO in broader leadership reshuffle

The current head of US marketing, Morgan Flatley, will assume the role of global CMO vacated by Alistair Macrow, promoted to CEO of McDonald’s in the UK and Ireland.

McDonald’s is internally promoting the role of global CMO, part of a broader executive reshuffle aimed at accelerating business growth.

In her new role, Morgan Flatley, who joined the US fast-food giant four years ago as director of marketing and digital customer experience, will oversee global brands, menus, family marketing, media collaboration, and customer intelligence.

McDonald’s recognizes “Flatley’s strategic vision and strategic vision for building iconic brands” as he played a critical role in driving the company’s customer growth strategy and building the brand’s digital, data and vision capabilities.

The new global CMO was also commended for building powerful teams and building internal and external partnerships with franchisees, suppliers, and agencies. Flatley will report to the Director of Customer Service, Manu Steijaert, and will join McDonald’s senior global leadership team.

He replaces Alistair Macrow, who was promoted to global CMO in June 2020, a year after the fast-food giant left office.

Macrow will now become the CEO of McDonald’s in the UK and Ireland, based on his “deep experience” in the UK market. He has held various senior marketing positions in the UK and Europe during his 14 years at McDonald’s, starting in 2007 as UK Marketing Director he held the role of Marketing Manager at Marks & Spencer.

Morgan and Macrow will begin their new roles on Nov. 1, with the latter reporting to McDonald’s International President Ian Borden. In addition, Paul Pomroy, CEO of, UK, and Ireland will now become senior corporate vice president for international markets, overseeing McDonald’s operations in 12 markets.

Leaning into digital

The Flatley and Macrow promotions are part of a series of changes led by Steijaert, who has assumed the role of CCO since late July and is starting to build a team with “deep negotiating experience for leadership roles.”

Flatley will be replaced by Tariq Hassan, who has stepped down as CMO for US animal welfare brand Petco. McDonald’s highlights Hassan’s experience in using data to create customer experiences that increase customer loyalty. In addition to managing data-driven marketing, the new head of marketing in the US will also try to bring a brand-centric attitude to the company.

Elsewhere in the UK, McDonald’s earlier this month reneged on its decision to step down as UK CMO and promote Michelle Graham-Clare to senior vice president, chief marketing officer? She was already the top trader in the UK after former CMO Gareth Helm left last summer.

McDonald’s describes Graham-Clare’s leadership of the marketing team as “critical” for driving the brand through last year’s financial pressures. Chris Kempczinski, president and CEO of McDonald’s, says the company’s next chapter will be driven by its “digital leadership.”

The company is embarking on a “digital-focused strategy” of promoting Steijaert to director of the customer service. The newly formed team is tasked with improving marketing performance and delivering a seamless omnichannel customer experience. Sales are growing despite the pandemic, while sales in the second quarter (ended June 30) increased 40.5% compared to the same period in 2020 and 6.9% on a two-year basis.

Meanwhile, sales of digital channels in McDonald’s six key markets totaled nearly $8 billion (£5.8 billion) in the second quarter, a 70% increase from the previous year.