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Jill McDonald to switch Big Macs for car parts


Jill McDonald, UK Chief and President of McDonald’s North West Europe, is to take on the role of Halfords’ new Chief Executive, with effect from May 11.

McDonald will fill the void left by Matt Davis, who departed the company in June to lead Business Operations at supermarket chain Tesco.

Halfords is a UK retailer of automotive and leisure products and service, a world away from fast food chain McDonald’s. McDonald will be expected to continue the growth of the company, after online retail surged 16.5% in Quarter 3 FY15 result, representing an impressive 12.9% of total Retail sales.

In the past McDonald has worked as a Brand Manager for British Airways and joined the restaurant business in 2006 as Senior Vice President, Chief Marketing Officer. Jill was voted ‘Marketer of the Year’ in 2008 by the marketing Society, before starting her current role with McDonald’s in 2010. She is also a non-executive director of Intercontinental Hotels Group plc.

McDonald is well prepared for the new role, having been responsible for roughly 3,3000 owned and franchised McDonald’s restaurants across seven different countries and 200,000 colleagues, for the past five years.

Halfords is keen for McDonald to join the automotive and leisure retailer and is confident that her vast experience will drive the company’s future growth:

“When the board began the search for a new CEO we were clear that we were looking for an outstanding business leader, particularly someone who had built and nurtured a culture of customer service and colleague engagement in a consumer facing business. So we are delighted to have recruited Jill, who has a strong track record of heading a large, complex, service-led business with great success” comments Dennis Millard, Halfords Chairman.

In an interview in July 2014, she described her position with McDonald’s as, “nurturing and caring and accountable. I enjoy that sort of mix- of feeling part of a family”. McDonald can expect Halfords to provide a similar ‘close knit’ working experience, with her new employer having been named as one of the best places to work by the Sunday Times 2015.

McDonald’s package includes a basic salary of £0.5m, with a 150% bonus entitlement, a welcomed meaty pay packet:

“Halfords is a business and brand that resonates with me and the UK public and I am delighted to be joining the company. Halfords has already made significant progress in delivering its service-led growth strategy and I look forward to joining such a strong team to continue to build on that success.” Jill McDonald said.

Expansion is on the cards for Halfords in 2015 after the company recently opened its first Cycle Republic store in London. The retailer will have high expectations for McDonald this year, with Halfords set to report the business’ preliminary results for the results ending 3 April 2015 on 5 June 2015.

Published on Monday 23 March by Rachel Gee

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