His position is a newly-created post designed to encompass marketing, menu innovation, consumer insights and other global brand assets at McDonald's. Mr. Easterbrook will also provide strategic leadership on corporate social responsibility and restaurant architecture.
Mr. Easterbrook's promotion reflects McDonald's solid succession planning process and its deep bench of talented leaders aligned around the company's Plan to Win, the company relayed.
"We're confident Steve is the right person to step up and help keep our brand relevant and contemporary around the world," said Jim Skinner, McDonald's chief executive officer. "This new position is a natural evolution of our commitment to our customers and our pledge to be better, not just bigger."
A 16-year McDonald's veteran, Mr. Easterbrook has experience in finance, operations and the supply chain. He took over as c.e.o. of U.K. operations in April 2006, and added responsibility for Sweden, Finland, Denmark, Norway and Ireland in January 2007. Under his leadership, the U.K. transformed and improved the restaurant experience for the 2 million customers McDonald's serves each day and further enhanced the employment experience for its 85,000 staff, the company said.
Mr. Easterbrook also has done groundbreaking work around employment image, redefining for the public what it means to work at McDonald's.
Jill McDonald, chief marketing officer for Northern Europe, will succeed Mr. Easterbrook as c.e.o. of the U.K. and president of Northern Europe. She will report to Denis Hennequin, president of McDonald's Europe. Ms. McDonald joined the company in 2006 with extensive marketing experience from global brands, such as Colgate Palmolive and British Airways.