- McDonald's has created a new Global Impact Team and hired Katie Beirne Fallon as executive vice president and chief global impact officer to oversee this department, according to a press release.
- Fallon, who most recently served as executive vice president of global corporate affairs at Hilton, "will bring together key functions across the company critical to achieving McDonald's purpose to feed and foster communities, including government relations, communications, sustainability and oversight for the company's corporate philanthropy and ESG strategy," the release states.
- This new position and team aligns with McDonald's long-standing sustainability and social impact goals. The company supported a million-acre grazing initiative in September to help restore grasslands, has been a part of the NextGen Cup Challenge to create more sustainable cups and previously invested in solar and wind power energy. It also built a net zero energy restaurant in Orlando, Florida, earlier this year.
While focusing on sustainability and global impact isn't anything new across the QSR space — Yum Brands and Starbucks have made strides in this area for years as well — McDonald's has been particularly keen on creating a more diverse workforce especially as it deals with ongoing controversy. For months, the company has been publicly engaged in the scandal regarding its former CEO Steve Easterbrook, who was involved in inappropriate relationships with employees. It has also been hit with claims of sexual harassment at its stores and racial disparity across its franchisee system.
With these issues lingering, McDonald's had made hiring moves to shift away from some of its public reputation. In March, it hired Heidi Capozzi as its global chief people officer and promoted Shammara Howell to vice president and global chief talent officer and Melanie Steinbach to senior vice president and chief people officer, McDonald’s USA during the summer.
Bringing on Fallon is another step to make top level changes that could impact its workplace culture. Fallon's past experience at Hilton will give her a strong background to enhance McDonald's ongoing sustainability and community efforts. Under her leadership at Hilton, the hotel company developed 2030 Travel With Purpose goals that aligned to the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals, according to the press release.
As part of this effort, Hilton committed to cutting its environmental footprint in half and double its social impact. Fallon also rolled out The Hilton Effect Foundation, the company's first corporate foundation, that was focused on investing in organizations that supported its 2030 goals.
Prior to her work at Hilton, Fallon worked as a senior advisor and director of legislative affairs for President Barack Obama and served as the president’s liaison to Congress. She also served as deputy communications director at the White House. Fallon currently serves as a director on the Annaly Capital Management Board and chair of its corporate responsibility committee and serves as director on the International Youth Foundation Board and The Center for Employment Opportunities Board.
"[Fallon] will bring critical insights from her experience in both the public and private sectors that will help ensure we continue to lead the way in serving our customers and stakeholders, both in our restaurants and the communities in which we operate," Chris Kempczinski, McDonald’s CEO, said in the press release.