McDonald's USA Appoints Tabassum Zalotrawala as Senior Vice President and Chief Development Officer for US Business

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CHICAGO, March 15, 2023 /PRNewswire/ -- Today, McDonald's USA President Joe Erlinger sent the following message to the McDonald's US System announcing new Senior Vice President and Chief Development Officer, Tabassum Zalotrawala

The digital CV and headshot for Tabassum Zalotrawala are embedded within this release. 


With the announcement of an evolved Accelerating the Arches strategy to grow faster, meet customer expectations, and make our brand even stronger through new restaurant development, we committed to leveraging our position of strength to grow the number of McDonald's restaurants across the U.S.

That's why, as we lay the foundation for continued long-term growth and rapidly accelerate the development of new restaurants, we are adding a strong and dynamic leader to the U.S. Senior Leadership Team. I'm excited to share that Tabassum Zalotrawala will join McDonald's and lead this effort as Senior Vice President and U.S. Chief Development Officer, reporting directly to me effective Monday, April 24.

This role has been purposefully elevated to the U.S. SLT as we prioritize development as part of our Accelerating the Arches strategy. Having spent the past five years investing our capital and energy in modernizing our business, we've earned the right to build new restaurants and set aggressive goals, and Tabassum is the right leader to advance our ambitions. 

Prior to joining McDonald's, Tabassum led significant real estate development efforts for several restaurant brands worldwide. Most recently, she served as Chief Development Officer at Chipotle Mexican Grill where she led global execution of real estate, with one of her projects named one of 'The Most Innovative Projects of 2020' by Fast Company. Prior to that, she held several leadership positions focused on real estate, design, and construction at Panda Restaurant Group and Arby's Restaurant Group

Tabassum is a values-based leader and is committed to growing the business while providing opportunities for the betterment of people, customers, and communities. Her development experience is matched by her extensive education, with a Bachelor's in Fine Arts and completion of the Harvard Business School Advanced Management Program. While working in development, she quickly realized how a career in the food service sector provided an opportunity to scale the influence of her work and aligned with her values – allowing her to create spaces for tens of thousands of guests, support small business owners, and create thousands of new jobs each year.

As she prepares to start her role in April, Tabassum will relocate to Chicago with her husband, Yusuf, and daughter, Ummae. Until then, the Development Leadership Team will continue to report to Mason Smoot as they work to accelerate our plans. I'd like to thank John Wendel for his leadership during this interim period as we conducted our search. The progress the team has continued to make in the past few months has set us up for future success.

On behalf of the entire U.S. Senior Leadership Team, I am confident that Tabassum's leadership will elevate our position as a leading brand and enable McDonald's to serve more customers than ever before. With our sustained success over the past several years, there is still much work to be done. Now is the time to take this important next step. 

Please join me in welcoming Tabassum to our team. 

Joe Erlinger 
President, McDonald's USA 

About McDonald's USA 
McDonald's USA, LLC, serves a variety of menu options made with quality ingredients to millions of customers every day. Ninety-five percent of McDonald's approximately 13,500 U.S. restaurants are owned and operated by independent business owners. For more information, visit, or follow us on Twitter @McDonalds and on Facebook at 

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Limited-Service Restaurants
Accommodation and Food Services
United States of America