Margaret Zabel to leave Communications Council for role at McDonald’s

margaret zabel

The Communications Council CEO Margaret Zabel has stepped down after three and a half years in the role to accept the VP marketing role at McDonald’s.

In a statement she said: “It has been a privilege to lead The Communications Council and work with our Chair Sudeep Gohil and the Board.

“It is an important organisation for both members and the industry as it helps establish professional standards, best practice and an effective self-regulatory system. It likewise is important in establishing continuous professional standards for the industry and the partnership with the IPA lays the foundations on a global level. I am grateful to have built a deeper understanding of marketing communications working with advertising agencies and production companies and plan to contribute ongoing to the betterment of our industry.”

Zabel is set to leave at the end of December, with the Communications Council Board commencing a search for her replacement immediately.

In her new role, Zabel will be responsible for consumer and business insights, innovation and menu and will report in to Mark Lollback, senior vice president, chief marketing Officer ANZ.

Of her appointment Lollback said: “Margaret joins McDonald’s with a proven track record of developing marketing strategies based on deep customer and consumer insights. Her strong commercial acumen and success in identifying the essence of brands and communicating effectively to targeted consumers makes her a valuable addition to the McDonald’s business.’’

The news follows the body launching a new professional development qualification Australia, licensing the scheme created by its counterpart in the UK the Institute of Practitioners in Advertising (IPA).

A release announcing the move credited Zabel with the development of a major industry Reputation Study and the the upcoming Economic Value Study, promotion of Gender Diversity through the launch of a dedicated group; the introduction of CEO Leadership Forums for members; and, establishment of the Public Relations Council and Commercial Producers Council.

Sudeep Gohil, chair of The Communications Council said: “On behalf of our national board and members, I’d like to say a huge thank you to Margaret for her vision, commitment and leadership over the past three years. Her dedication to promoting the value of agencies and raising professional standards has led to some fantastic achievements – the recent delivery of world-class IPA courses to the Australian market is a great example of that.

“This is an exciting next step for Margaret. We wish her the best and look forward to working with her in a new capacity in thefuture.”

Zabel joined the organisation in February 2012 following the abrupt departure of CEO Daniel Leesong.

When Zabel was appointed her brief included to successfully deliver the committed member programs, to shape the strategy and priorities for the Council’s next stage and to serve the industry through well informed, collaborative and quality outcome focused support and proactive initiatives.

Miranda Ward 


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