WASHINGTON: The Incite Agency’s Ben LaBolt said Tuesday that the firm is moving "full speed ahead" despite the departure of fellow founding partner and Obama administration colleague Robert Gibbs.
The former White House press secretary is moving to McDonald’s to serve as EVP and global CCO, the company said Tuesday morning. He is succeeding longtime company communications leader Bridget Coffing in the position.
LaBolt wrote in an email that the firm is moving "full speed ahead."
"We’re continuing to build integrated communications campaigns for companies and causes," he said, teasing upcoming changes at the firm. "In the weeks ahead, we’ll announce an expansion for the agency that will give us a larger geographic presence and expand our list of services. But that’s an email for another day."
LaBolt also noted that Gibbs’ next role is "a natural extension of the work we’ve been performing at The Incite Agency," citing past efforts on behalf of Fortune 500 companies.
LaBolt declined further comment. Gibbs could not be immediately reached for comment.
McDonald’s also named Silvia Lagnado, most recently CMO of Bacardi Limited, as EVP and global CMO on Tuesday. Both will report to Steve Easterbrook, who was appointed McDonald’s CEO early this year.
Welcome Robert Gibbs as Global Chief Communications Officer; Silvia Lagnado as Global Chief Marketing Officer http://t.co/084ygmwq4J— McDonald's (@McDonaldsCorp) June 9, 2015
Easterbrook said in a statement released on Tuesday that the company is moving forward as a "more modern, progressive burger company."
Former Obama White House message guru David Axelrod wished Gibbs luck in the role on Tuesday.
He's brilliant, tough & steeped in the challenge of communicating change. @McDonalds could not have done better than Robert Gibbs. I know!— David Axelrod (@davidaxelrod) June 9, 2015
"Robert Gibbs" was a trending topic in the US for much of Tuesday afternoon.
Harder job? PR for White House or PR for Ronald McDonald? Robert Gibbs is about to find out. $MCD— Paul R. La Monica (@LaMonicaBuzz) June 9, 2015