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The Power List
silvia lagnado McDonald's

The Power List 2019: Silvia Lagnado

Building McDonald’s brand on a global scale

The annual NRN Power List is the definitive list of people setting foodservice trends today and shaping them for tomorrow. See the full list >>

Silvia Lagnado, EVP and global chief marketing officer, McDonald’s Corp.

In her decades-long brand-building career, Silvia Lagnado has earned a reputation as one of the industry’s most well-respected and forward-thinking marketing executives.

She got her start  in 1987 when she joined Unilever’s marketing department in her native Brazil, where she is said to have quickly become a star.  She spent more than 20 years at Unilever, where she was Dove’s first global brand director, a position in which she oversaw the game-changing “Campaign for Real Beauty.”  As global chief marketing officer for Bacardi Limited, she added a shot of innovation to the 156-year-old family-owned spirits company and pioneered successful brand-building strategies.

Ad Age named her one of its Women to Watch in 2003 and one of the 100 most influential women in advertising in 2012. Those who know Lagnado credit her rise to success to a combination of unique global client perspective and sharp business acumen and brand insights. 

In 2015, McDonald’s hired Lagnado to oversee its global marketing, menu and customer insights. She’s one of few “outsiders” appointed to a top leadership position by the Oak Brook, Ill.-based burger giant, which is known for promoting from within.

As for what’s next career-wise? Don’t count on any insight from Lagnado. In a 2016 interview for The Marketing Society, she admitted that her career has “evolved without much planning ahead.”

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