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Michael Gonda (left) has been named McDonald's chief impact officer, while Jami Guthrie (right) has been promoted to VP, strategic insights and prioritization.

McDonald’s adds two to senior leadership team amid restructure

Michael Gonda is charged with driving strategy across communications, government relations, ESG and philanthropy.

McDonald’s has added two appointments to its U.S. senior leadership team, including Michael Gonda, who has been promoted to senior vice president and chief impact officer, North America.

According to a company announcement, Gonda is responsible for “driving the holistic impact strategy across communications, state and local government relations, sustainability and ESG, and philanthropy” in the U.S. and Canada. The company adds that his cross-functional team is responsible for engaging stakeholders to protect and enhance the McDonald’s brand and efficiently partner with other markets.

Gonda most recently served as McDonald’s global chief communications officer, a role he’s held since 2019. Prior, he was senior vice president of corporate affairs at Chobani.

With his promotion, Sandy Rodriguez, vice president of U.S. communications, will assume the role of global chief communications officer for McDonald’s.

Additionally, Jami Guthrie has been promoted to vice president, strategic insights and prioritization. He is responsible for managing strategy, insights, analytics and planning resources for the U.S. business. The team is tasked with eliminating redundancies and inefficiencies to enable faster innovation and effective collaboration.

Guthrie most recently served as VP of consumer insights for McDonald’s. Prior to joining the Golden Arches, he was VP of consumer insights and business analytics at SC Johnson. Earlier in his career, he worked for Wrigley and PepsiCo.

Gonda and Guthrie will report to McDonald’s USA president Joe Erlinger.

Faster innovation is one of the company’s objectives as part of its “Accelerating the Organization” initiative, first announced in January. During that announcement, CEO Chris Kempczinski said the company will focus on braking down segment and market silos, adding that to become faster and more efficient, the company will cease or de-prioritize some initiatives. Some roles and staffing levels were recently cut as part of this restructuring process. The Wall Street Journal initially reported that McDonald’s temporarily closed its U.S. offices last week as it prepared to inform corporate employees about layoffs. More recently, the WSJ reported that this restructuring effort included reductions in compensation packages and changes to benefits like bonuses and equity grants. The company also announced it will close 10 of its U.S. field offices, shifting most of those positions to remote.

In an email sent to employees and reported by the WSJ, Erlinger wrote, “While the McDonald’s Brand is in the strongest position it has been in years, we also recognize that our business has grown increasingly complex in recent years.”

The Journal reports that McDonald’s restructure resulted in “hundreds of layoffs.” Earlier this year, the company reported it employed more than 150,000 people globally.

Contact Alicia Kelso at [email protected]

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