McDonald's Names VP of Nutrition

July 13/Oak Brook, Ill./Marketwire -- McDonald's USA announced that Karen Wells, vice president, U.S. Strategy and Menu, will take on an expanded role focusing on U.S. nutrition. In this newly expanded role, as vice president of U.S. Nutrition and Menu Strategy, Wells will be responsible for all aspects of U.S. menu innovation, as well as nutrition strategy for McDonald's 14,000 U.S. restaurants. Wells will continue to report to Jan Fields, president, McDonald's USA.

"Nutrition plays an important role in McDonald's menu development," said Fields. "Providing our customers with an array of wholesome food and beverage offerings that meet a variety of dietary needs continues to be a priority for McDonald's and our customers. Having Karen take on this expanded role ensures nutrition is fully integrated into our menu development strategy, as well as provides the senior leadership oversight responsibility and accountability to keep nutrition as a key priority and business driver for long-term business results," added Fields.

"I'm extremely excited and humbled by this opportunity to more fully integrate nutrition into our menu innovation strategy," said Wells. "McDonald's has a long and proud history of leadership in menu innovation, quality, variety and choice. Providing our customers with a variety of wholesome foods, made with quality ingredients has always been a hallmark of our brand. Integrating a nutrition framework into menu innovation ensures that we'll keep our customers' nutritional needs, as well as their taste preferences, top of mind in our business plans," added Wells.

In her new role, Wells oversees a staff of registered dietitians, culinary, food and beverage scientists and other menu experts responsible for shaping McDonald's menu for the more than 26 million customers served every day. As a member of the McDonald's U.S. Leadership Team, Wells is focused on expanding strategic partnerships and alliances across all facets of the McDonald's U.S. business.

Earlier in her McDonald's career, Wells served as vice president and general manager for the Indianapolis region where she was responsible for a billion dollar business comprising more than 600 restaurants across six states.

Wells holds a bachelor of science and administration degree in marketing from Xavier University in Cincinnati, Ohio and a master of business administration degree from Meredith College in Raleigh, North Carolina.

From the July 19, 2010, Prepared Foods E-dition