McDonald’s names new global media relations, leadership comms leads

Artemis Bakopoulos Hiss and Jesse Lewin are switching roles.

The moves are the latest in a string of changes in recent years to McDonald’s comms team. (Photo credit: Getty Images).
The moves are the latest in a string of changes in recent years to McDonald’s comms team. (Photo credit: Getty Images).

CHICAGO: McDonald’s has named Artemis Bakopoulos Hiss as global media relations lead and Jesse Lewin as head of its leadership communications team, effective August 1.

It is a lateral move for both staffers as they switch roles. Hiss, previously senior director for leadership comms, will be senior director of McDonald’s global media relations; Lewin, senior director of McDonald’s global media relations, will be senior director of McDonald’s leadership comms, according to an internal memo from McDonald’s SVP and chief communications officer Michael Gonda, which was viewed by PRWeek.

Hiss and Lewin will continue to report to Gonda.

“In the past several years, [Lewin and Hiss] have built out their respective functions for McDonald’s, assembling remarkable teams and executing world-class communications for this brand,” Gonda said in the memo.

The moves are the latest in a string of changes in recent years to McDonald’s comms team. The fast-food chain centralized its U.S. and corporate communications teams in December under one leader: Gonda. With the new structure, the company promoted Gonda from VP and chief communications officer to his current position. He is reporting to McDonald’s chief global impact officer Katie Fallon.

Last March, McDonald’s restructured its global impact team, promoting Gonda at the time from VP of global communications to CCO as David Tovar took on the expanded role of chief U.S. corporate relations officer. In August, Tovar left the restaurant chain to assume the role of SVP of communications and government relations at Grubhub.

Last month, McDonald’s hired Sandy Rodriguez as VP of U.S. communications. She took over Tovar’s previous responsibilities.

McDonald’s also created a customer experience team in July 2021 led by Manu Steijaert, which integrated the company’s data analytics, digital customer engagement, global marketing, global restaurant development and restaurant solutions teams. 

McDonald’s reported Q1 net income of $1.1 billion, down from $1.5 billion a year earlier, while net sales rose 11% to $5.7 billion, beating expectations of $5.6 billion.

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