McDonald's ousts CEO over relationship with employee

November 04, 2019 12:05
Announcing Steve Easterbrook's dismissal, McDonald's said the company‘s board has determined that the CEO 'demonstrated poor judgment' in pursuing a romantic relationship with an employee. File Photo: Reuters

Global fast-food chain McDonald’s has fired CEO Steve Easterbrook over a recent consensual relationship with an employee, which the board determined violated company policy.

The board found that Easterbrook, 52, who had led McDonald’s since 2015, had “demonstrated poor judgment” involving the relationship, Reuters reports, citing a company statement on Sunday.

Easterbrook relinquished his seat on the company’s board as well.

“This was a mistake,” Easterbrook said of the relationship in an email to employees on Sunday released by the company. “Given the values of the company, I agree with the board that it is time for me to move on.”

His departure is among the most significant in corporate America in the past several years over relationships deemed inappropriate, Reuters noted.

 In June 2018, Intel CEO Brian Krzanich resigned after an investigation found he had a consensual relationship with an employee that breached company policy.

Chris Kempczinski, 51, most recently president of McDonald’s USA, was named the company’s new CEO, effective immediately. He also joined the McDonald’s board.

In his own message to employees, Kempczinski thanked Easterbrook for recruiting him to McDonald’s and said he expects the company to continue its customer-focused growth plan.

McDonald's did not provide further details on the circumstances surrounding Easterbrook’s departure.

The company is expected to disclose financial information related to Easterbrook’s dismissal in a securities filing as soon as Monday.

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