Deborah Wahl, former CMO of McDonald’s – From Hot Rods to Hamburgers
Deborah Wahl, former CMO of McDonald’s and current Vice-Chair of the ANA, shares her incredible journey of leading marketing teams across multiple industries and the lessons she’s learned along the way, to include: how to turn curiosity into opportunity, how to breakthrough in new markets, what makes for a successful CMO, how the role of the CMO has changed, how to stay current in your role, how to stay focused on growth, how to bring value to the Board Room and the industry as a whole.
Deborah Wahl, former CMO McDonalds & Vice-chair ANA
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What can I say about Deborah Wahl, former CMO of McDonald’s and current Vice-Chair of the ANA, other than “Wow”! Deborah has enough energy to power her favorite city of Detroit day and night. You can’t help but get swept away in her enthusiasm and passion for people whether she’s marketing Hot Rods or Hamburgers.

As we started our conversation, I asked one simple question, “how has your career evolved from where you started?” Buckle your seat belt, as this becomes a wild ride from Paris to San Paulo to the California Coast and back to Detroit.

As we compared her role as CMO across the various industries she’s served, she offered up some great perspective on how to navigate different companies, stakeholders and cultures, but was crystal clear that the role of the marketer has always been and will always be to best serve and represent the customer. How you do that changes by company, resources and certainly with each passing day that technology and consumers evolve, but at the end of every day, it’s all about growth.

To deliver growth, you have to be focused on growth, which means reconfiguring how you spend your time, how your team is spending their time, how you invest in your team and how you invest in yourself.

To hear how she manages her time and where she places her bets, you’ll just have to tune in…

Honorable mentions: ANA, Groupon, Media Ocean, Seth Farbman, WL Gore, Paris, Brazil, Detroit, Ford, Mazda, Lincoln, Toyota, Lexus, Chrysler, PulteGroup, McDonald’s, Spencer Stuart, Wall Street Journal, Suzanne Vranica, Reco Daily, CIO Update

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