Somewhere in America, Jon Stewart’s brain is dribbling out of his ears.
Today, fast food chain McDonald’s announced that former White House press secretary Robert Gibbs will be joining the company as its global chief communications officer. He’ll be managing the department that manages government and public affairs.
More from the official press release:
In his new role, Gibbs will lead McDonald’s corporate relations group, which manages internal and external communications and government and public affairs. He will lead McDonald’s in communicating clear, coordinated messages to internal and external constituencies, enhancing the brand and supporting corporate strategies.
Gibbs joins McDonald’s from The Incite Agency, a strategic communications advisory firm he co-founded in 2013. Prior to that he held several senior advisory roles in the White House, serving as President Barack Obama’s press secretary during his first term, then as senior campaign advisor during his re-election campaign. He will replace Bridget Coffing who announced her retirement earlier this year after 30 years with the company.
There’s something delicious about this, no?
When Gibbs left the White House in 2011, the media had a pretty good time highlighting his foibles and failures during his time as Obama’s explainer-in-chief. His departure, while not unusual, gave us an opportunity to highlight just how impossible a job spokesman for the president is—or, just how impossibly terrible Gibbs became at his job, depending on who you ask.
According to MarketWatch, Gibbs isn’t the only new hire McDonald’s is bringing on to combat last year’s substantial reputation hit and subsequent dip in overall sales. In fact, the company has seen nothing but decline for six straight quarters, and this year, is running on a loss of 0.5% on the Dow.
Is Gibbs is the right man to plug holes in a sinking ship? I’d wager that just about any PR job is easier than a PR job in the White House, but it will be interesting to see how his history with the Obamas affects his relationships with the press in his new job. Although he wasn’t directly involved with them, Michelle Obama’s “#GimmeFive” and school lunch overhaul campaigns run at odds with campaigns promoting super-sized orders of french fries; and although McDonald’s has raised wages for employees, their fight to prevent mass unionization and sky-high minimum wage laws is directly at odds with Obama’s populist push.
All this won’t affect his competency, but it could affect his credibility, at least as far as the media and Congress is concerned.DONATE
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