McDonald’s Fires CEO After Relationship With Employee

Written by Haley Alber

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November 4, 2019

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McDonald’s Corp. (NYSE: MCD) Chief Executive Officer Steve Easterbrook was fired and banned from working at a rival restaurant chain for two years after the fast-food giant’s Board of Directors found that he violated company policy by engaging in a relationship with an employee.
Mr. Easterbrook, who was paid nearly USD 16 Million last year, will receive a severance six months after his termination date. McDonald’s said on Sunday that it had appointed Chris Kempczinski, its former head of U.S. operations, to succeed Mr. Easterbrook immediately.

“I’m thrilled to be leading this incredible company,” said Kempczinski. “Working alongside our talented team, our Board, our franchisees and suppliers, I am committed to upholding our rich heritage of serving our customers and driving value for our shareholders and other stakeholders.”

Mr. Kempczinski first joined the company in 2015 where he oversaw McDonald’s global strategy, business development and innovation.

The fast food chain later announced that its President of International Operated Markets, Joe Erlinger, has been appointed President of McDonald’s USA. Erlinger began his McDonald’s tenure in 2002, working in strategy and new business development before moving onto regional and international leadership positions around the world.

“Our U.S. business is the heartbeat of McDonald’s,” said Erlinger. “I look forward to working with our franchisees to build upon the transformational progress in our largest market. With a talented team that is committed to running great restaurants, we have tremendous momentum to deliver on our brand promise to all of our customers.”

McDonald’s recent leadership changes are followed by the departure of David Fairhurst, the company’s Chief People Officer. Mr. Fairhurst had worked with Steve Easterbrook for McDonald’s in the U.K. and was promoted to the top human-resources job soon after Mr. Easterbrook became CEO in 2015.

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