McDonald’s Names US Marketing Chief
CHICAGO (AP) _ McDonald’s Corp. on Tuesday named a former Boston Chicken Inc. executive as its new head of U.S. marketing, one of the fast-food chain’s key posts in determining the direction of domestic sales.
The Oak Brook, Ill.-based chain said it had promoted Larry Zwain to the position of senior vice president of marketing, a job in which he will report directly to Alan Feldman, the company’s president of U.S. operations.
Zwain, who resigned as chief executive of Boston Chicken shortly before it filed for bankruptcy protection, had been serving for the past 18 months as a regional manager in the company’s Northeast division.
Before joining Boston Chicken in 1996, Zwain was president and chief operating officer of PepsiCo Inc.’s international restaurants business, which has since been spun off into Tricon Global Restaurants Inc. comprising Pizza Hut, Kentucky Fried Chicken and Taco Bell.
McDonald’s has been seeking a successor to longtime marketing chief Brad Ball since he left the chain last April for a job at Warner Brothers.
While several high-profile candidates reportedly turned down the job, analysts have praised Feldman and company Chairman Jack Greenberg for steering the chain in the right direction over the past year.
After months of struggling sales and declining market share, the chain last year gained market share and boosted sales at stores open at least a year, in part because of such successful promotions as Beanie Babies and Monopoly.
McDonald’s also switched its advertising spending from about 80 percent on the national level to only 50 percent in order to concentrate spending more on local markets, matching its realignment of business operations into regional markets.
Zwain also revealed the company plans to revive its Beanie Babies promotion this year, although he declined to discuss details. Analysts have said the company’s two previous Beanie Babies promotions were the most successful in its history and contributed significantly to McDonald’s bottom line.