OAKBROOK, IL: Bill Whitman, a 13-year McDonald's executive, has left his post as lead communications executive in the US, effective April 1.
Ben Stringfellow, a senior director of communications at the company, will succeed Whitman as VP of communications.
Whitman, who held the role of chief communications officer in the US, explained that he's been thinking about looking for a new opportunity for a long time, especially one related to philanthropy.
“As much as I love corporate America, I'd love to be able to do something with a community service or philanthropic organization that's about the greater good,” he said. “I've been blessed to be involved with Ronald McDonald's charities for the last 13 years.”
When asked about the immediate future, he said he has no specific plans other than to enjoy the summer months.
When Jack Daly, SVP of corporate relations and CCO of McDonald's Corporation, passed away in February following a battle with cancer, McDonald's told PRWeek that it did not have immediate plans to name a global CCO.
Whitman confirmed that his decision to leave was in no way related to any internal changes or issues.
“It's a difficult decision in part because I have very good relationships with many of my friends and colleagues at McDonald's, particularly members of the US leadership team, but also because our communications team in the US and around the world is among the best anywhere and it's obviously one of the world's greatest brands.”
He attained his current position in September 2008, rising up from the role of senior director of media relations and public affairs.
Earlier in his career, he held communications roles at Fleishman-Hillard and Exxon.