McDonald’s Corp. has named Max Gallegos, Jr. to direct its national marketing initiatives as director of Marketing USA, overseeing the national Hispanic consumer market.

Gallegos joins McDonald’s marketing department after serving three years as senior manager of U.S. Communications for the company.

“In the last three years, Max has exemplified stellar leadership in contributing to a results-oriented, driven, high-energy team that day in and day out works hard at moving our business forward on all fronts,” said Tom Ryan, executive vice president, Marketing USA, McDonald’s Corp. “His transition to marketing will only strengthen our outstanding reputation and service as the restaurant of choice for Hispanic families.”

As marketing director, Gallegos will be responsible for creating all Hispanic marketing initiatives for the McDonald’s U.S. Calendar team and overseeing activities of the company’s Hispanic advertising agency, del Rivero Messianu of Coral Gables, Fla.

“I am excited by the opportunity to take the momentum of our business to a new level and at the same time strengthen our brand and bring it to life at both the counter and in the eyes of our customers,” said Gallegos.

During his tenure at McDonald’s, Gallegos has overseen the growth of McDonald’s key Hispanic initiatives including: RMHC/HACER Scholarship Program, which has grown to become the nation’s largest charitable initiative awarding more than $8 million in scholarships to more than 7,000 students; McDonald’s equity with Latin Music programs including Noche de Carnaval and the Enrique Iglesias “Cosas del Amor” U.S. Tour; and the Web site, which offers McDonald’s content-specific information to the Hispanic community.

This year, Gallegos received the corporation’s President’s Award given to the top one percent of McDonald’s top performing staff worldwide in recognition of his leadership and contributions to the company’s values and strategic initiatives, as well as the 2001 YMCA Achiever of the Year Award for serving as an inspiration and role model to youth.

Born in Chihuahua, Mexico, Gallegos was raised in Los Angeles and received his bachelors degree from the University of Southern California. Prior to joining McDonald’s in 1997, Gallegos worked at Valencia, Perez & Echeveste (VPE) Public Relations, one of the nation’s largest Hispanic-owned P.R. firms based in Pasadena, Calif. He held various positions before joining VPE in the public and nonprofit sector, which included serving as marketing communications manager at United Way.

McDonald’s is the world’s largest global foodservice retailer, with more than 29,000 restaurants serving nearly 45 million people each day in 121 countries. Approximately 80 percent of all McDonald’s restaurants worldwide are owned and operated by independent franchisees.

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