CHICAGO — Former McDonald’s chief communications officer Robert Gibbs has joined Bully Pulpit Interactive as senior counsel.

Gibbs, who was an Obama aide and White House press secretary before joining McDonald's, will be based in BPI’s Chicago office. He will focus on working with companies on crisis communications and social impact initiatives.

In announcing the hire, BPI said Gibbs joins the firm as it strengthens its ability to help companies handle the challenges business faces, magnified by the Covid-19 pandemic and the US presidential election.

“The role of brands in society is evolving daily. Now more than ever, organizations and leaders are being forced to redefine their relationship to consumers, government, society, and their own employees,” said BPI president Andrew Bleeker, “Few people have the leadership and communications experience Robert Gibbs has shown at the highest levels during moments of national crisis. We’re honored to have him join our team and help us prepare our clients for the new normal.”

Gibbs stepped down from his McDonald’s role in September, roughly four years after joining the fast-food giant to lead its corporate relations function, which historically housed corporate and external communications and government relations. The outside perspective he brought to McDonald’s as it strives to be a modern, progressive burger company earned him a spot on the Influence 100.

Gibbs’ exit came a year or so into McDonald’s switching up the way it handles communications — which is part of the larger corporate restructuring the company started in early 2018, which included streamlining management.