McDonald's is staffing up with White House and Kraft alums

McDonald’s Corp is beefing up its ranks with political and food company alumni as it works to turn around lacklustre sales and recreate the fast-food chain as a “modern, progressive burger company.”

The moves come as McDonald’s battles changing consumer tastes, intense competition and calls from consumer and public health groups to curb marketing that they say is aimed at children.

The world’s biggest restaurant company on Thursday said Jano Cabrera, 41, will join the company as corporate senior vice president of U.S. communications, global media and public relations, effective Oct. 15.

Cabrera is a former communications director for the Democratic Party and served as a national spokesman for former Vice President Al Gore. He will report to Robert Gibbs, McDonald’s global chief communications officer. Gibbs is a former press secretary for President Barack Obama.

McDonald’s also named Chris Kempczinski, 46, corporate executive vice president of strategy, business development and innovation, effective Oct. 26. Kempczinski was executive vice president of growth initiatives and president of international at Kraft Foods Group. He replaces Adam Kriger, who was let go as part of recent layoffs.

McDonald’s also said it promoted David Fairhurst to the newly expanded role of corporate executive vice president, chief people officer, effective Oct. 1. He replaces Rich Floersch, executive vice president and chief human resources officer, who will retire effective Dec. 31.

(Reporting by Lisa Baertlein in Los Angeles; Editing by Andrew Hay)

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