Robert Gibbs, EVP, global CCO, McDonald's: Power List 2016

2016 rank: 18

Robert Gibbs isn’t intimidated by a daunting challenge; he’s attracted to it. He was never going to make his mark on an establishment campaign or a brand that is floating at the top — he is motivated by demanding experiences that require bold and unconventional decision-making. 

Robert helped reinvent PR and communications. He sees it not just as press releases and media engagements, but as a constant dialogue with stakeholders who demand answers. He knows what it takes for a company to shape its reputation in a digital-first world. Tradition is less important than finding and persuading the fractured audience where it lives.

Robert never met a rulebook he accepted at first read. He doesn’t do things just because they’ve always been done that way; he questions assumptions and breaks down unnecessary barriers. He makes the complex simple, and has a keen instinct for how the folks back home will react.  

There is a diaspora of Obama administration alumni who Robert trained as spokespeople. Known affectionately to us just as "Gibbs," Robert taught us all how to make our strongest case, while getting ahead of the response, to be loyal without misleading, and to find moments of laughter along the way.

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