- McDonald’s announced Wednesday the appointment of Jon Banner as EVP and global chief impact officer effective Sept. 6. Banner is currently EVP of communications at PepsiCo and president of the PepsiCo Foundation.
- Banner will oversee the chain’s global impact team, which includes sustainability & ESG; government relations and public policy; communications and international corporate relations functions. He will also manage Ronald McDonald House charities.
- The appointment may bolster McDonald’s efforts to improve its sustainability initiatives and its corporate and store-level culture around diversity.
Banner’s record of developing more sustainable global strategies at PepsiCo, including partnerships and investments to reduce hunger and provide access to safe water, could help legitimize McDonald’s ESG efforts in the eyes of investors.
Banner succeeds Katie Beirne Fallon, who exited her role as global chief impact officer in July to become EVP of communications, public affairs and policy at Fidelity. Fallon held the McDonald’s role for almost two years. Banner’s appointment coincides with the departure of another ESG and DEI leader, longtime board member Sheila Penrose, who oversaw the Sustainability and Corporate Responsibility Committee. Penrose will retire on Sept. 30.
McDonald’s global impact team has recently led initiatives including the company’s exit from Russia, its DEI report and its net zero emmissions commitment. But the company’s efforts to improve its image and highlight its diversity and environmental commitments come amid complaints from within its system.
Late last year, for example, the company settled a lawsuit filed by Black franchisees accusing McDonald’s of pushing Black franchisees toward underperforming locations. Earlier this year, investor Carl Icahn attempted to shake up McDonald’s board over suppliers’ treatment of pigs. This month, a judge approved a McDonald’s franchisee’s settlement in a class action lawsuit alleging sexual harassment by a Michigan store manager.