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McDonald’s digital officer departure continues executive turnover

Atif Rafiq leaves quick-service giant for Volvo Cars

atif rafiq mcdonaldsAnother senior executive is leaving McDonald’s Corp. 

Atif Rafiq, the Oak Brook, Ill.-based company’s chief digital officer, is taking a similar job with Volvo Cars, that company announced Thursday.

McDonald’s said that Jim Sappington, executive vice president of operations, digital and technology, will now oversee all restaurant operations, technology and digital teams.

“We appreciate Atif Rafiq’s efforts over the last several years,” Becca Harry, a McDonald’s spokeswoman, said in an emailed statement. 

“His departure provides an opportunity to further align our structure as we accelerate the digital experience our customers want including rolling out mobile order and pay in 2017 and 2018 in the U.S. and our International Lead Markets.”

Rafiq’s departure comes at an important time for McDonald’s, which is eagerly working to bolster its digital efforts. In addition to mobile order and pay, the chain is expanding its “Experience of the Future” to locations in more markets in 2017. 

The departure also comes amid a wave of executive changes at the chain, which named Steve Easterbrook CEO last year. Mike Andres, the chain’s president, and Pete Bensen, chief administrative officer,  both announced their retirements this summer. In addition longtime executive Dave Hoffman, who led McDonald’s high-growth division, took a job with Dunkin’ Donuts in September.

Rafiq was named McDonald’s first chief digital officer in 2013 and in more recent years the company announced plans to beef up its digital efforts, hiring hundreds of new people. He had previously worked with technology companies like Amazon, Yahoo! and AOL.

Contact Jonathan Maze at [email protected]
Follow him on Twitter at @jonathanmaze

​Photo courtesy of McDonald's

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