McDonald’s drops CMO role and creates a new SVP marketing technology role (under the CIO)

July 26, 2019 by Scott Brinker

Normally, I don’t write about career moves on this blog. But an article that appeared in Ad Age this week about the upcoming departure of famed McDonald’s CMO Silvia Lagnado — and the company’s decision to not name a new CMO — caught my attention.

Another CMO role disappearing is newsworthy — that’s been emerging as a trend lately.

But what really caught my attention was how they’re filling the gap: they’re promoting two VPs who worked for Lagnado to new SVP roles. Colin Mitchell, who was global brand VP, will now be SVP global marketing. And Bob Rupczynski, who was VP global digital engagement, will now be SVP marketing technology. Citing from Ad Age:And Rupczynski will now report to the company’s CIO, Daniel Henry.At least by title (senior VP), this puts the head of marketing technology at the same level as the head of global marketing. And at least by reporting structure, it makes it an IT leadership role more than a marketing one.

Fascinating, eh?

This follows the fascinating news earlier this year that McDonald’s acquired Dynamic Yield, a personalization marketing technology company. I joked at our spring MarTech conference that McDonald’s was now actually a martech company.

What does this all mean? While it’s questionable to extrapolate a global pattern from a single (albeit fascinating) instance, I think this does give us another significant point on the curve that martech is increasingly a core competency at leading companies. Even though this role reports to the CIO, I think we’re justified in declaring that martech is marketing (not the entirety of marketing, of course, but a major component of its operations and strategy).

I can’t help but recall the Ad Age editorial from just three years ago that “martech is so boring” — and my spirited rebuttal. Now that the magazine is reporting a CMO going away and a new SVP marketing technology being promoted at one of the most iconic brands in the world, I’d humbly suggest that martech turned out to be pretty interesting after all.

And in the grand scheme of things, it’s just getting started.

P.S. Fascinated by the growing influence and impact of marketing technology? Come join us at the upcoming MarTech Conference in Boston, September 16-18. Check out the agenda and register now!

This post originally appeared on and was re-posted here with permission from the author.  

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