Reggie J. Miller, the DEI leader whose career has included executive positions at Walmart, Tyson Foods, Sam's Club, and most recently VF Corporation, has accepted a new role as vice president and global chief diversity, equity, and inclusion officer at McDonald's. The news of Miller's departure from the outdoor industry was released this morning.
"Reggie brings tremendous knowledge and experience from his most recent role as vice president of global inclusion and diversity at VF Corporation, where he developed and implemented the 121-year-old organization’s first-ever formal diversity and inclusion strategy," wrote McDonalds global chief people officer Heidi Capozzi in a note to employees viewed by SNEWS. "While at VF—parent company to iconic brands like The North Face, Timberland, Vans, and Jansport—Reggie’s global mindset, focus and commitment to making DEI a key business driver, helped to fuel their success in this space."
Miller will start November 9 and replace Wendy Lewis, who retired from the position in September.
The announcement comes at a trying moment for McDonald's, as the company faces a cascade of leadership changes and accusations of racial discrimination. Last month, three current and former McDonald's employees sued the company for discriminatory practices. In September, more than 50 Black former franchisees filed a lawsuit for similar reasons. Public commentary regarding those cases has called attention to the fact that, out of the 12 high-level executives listed on the McDonald's website, none are Black. Just two of the company's 13 board members are Black.
A native of Osceola, Arkansas, Miller earned a BA and MA from the University of Arkansas, as well as an MBA from Webster University in St. Louis. He recently made headlines for spearheading VF's first-ever public release of its annual inclusion and diversity report, and was named co-president of Camber Outdoors' board of directors for 2021.
"Reggie and I share the same goal: that in order to move forward, we must move away from the notion that the responsibility of diversity lies with one person, one department or one group," Capozzi wrote in her statement. "It is not solely the job of those with 'diversity' in their titles. Reggie will provide the necessary leadership and guidance to support our collective ambition while empowering our business with the tools, resources, and support so that every single person in our company can play an active role in advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion."