McDonald’s has named former Boston Consulting Group consultant Chris Kempczinski as its Strategy Chief, as part of a wider reshuffle at the top, in a move to help steer growth initiatives as the company works to reverse a three-year sales slump.
Chris Kempczinski joins McDonald’s from Kraft Foods, where he served as Executive Vice President of the firm’s international business outside the US, representing roughly $3 billion in net revenue across 80 countries. Prior to which, Kempczinski worked for PepsiCo for eight years – in his last role he was responsible for the company’s non-carbonated beverage brands including Aquafina, Lipton, AMP Energy, Izze, Tropicana and Dole Juice Drinks. Between 1997 and 2000 he was employed by global consulting firm The Boston Consulting Group, working as a strategy consultant across engagements in the consumer, retail and financial services industries. Kempczinski, who holds a BA in Economics from Duke University and an MBA from Harvard Business School, started his career in 1991 with FMCG giant Procter & Gamble.
In his new role at McDonald’s, Kempczinski will oversee all aspects of strategy development, planning, innovation and new concepts to drive growth. Kempczinski will report to McDonald’s CEO Steve Easterbrook, who was promoted to CEO in March. “At this time in our business, Chris brings an unparalleled level of strategic expertise coupled with a fresh perspective to our brand management team,” Easterbrook says. “Chris is a proven global leader with a solid track record of success and will play an instrumental role moving our brand forward.”
Kempczinski is the third senior hire from outside to join the firm in recent months, long known for its insider promotion track record. But three years of weak sales has triggered McDonald’s to rethink old norms. In June the fast food giant hired Robert Gibbs, former Obama administration press secretary, to be global Communications Chief, and McDonald’s also brought in Silvia Lagnado, a former marketing executive at Bacardi and Unilever, to take on the role of Marketing Chief.