McDonald's USA, Oak Brook, Ill., said Karen Wells, vice president, U.S. Strategy and Menu will take on an expanded role involving U.S. nutrition. In this newly expanded role, as "Vice President, 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.

Said Well, "I'm extremely excited and humbled by this opportunity to more fully integrate nutrition into our menu innovation strategy. 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."

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. As a member of the McDonald's U.S. Leadership Team, Wells also is focused on expanding strategic partnerships and alliances across all facets of the McDonald's U.S. business.