Friday 15 November 2019

McDonald's fires CEO over his co-worker relationship

Out: Steve Easterbrook. AP photo
Out: Steve Easterbrook. AP photo

Matthew G Miller

McDonald's has fired chief executive Steve Easterbrook because he had a consensual relationship with an employee, against company policy.

The burger company's board voted on Friday to sack Mr Easterbrook (52) after investigating the relationship, according to a company statement last night. McDonald's policy doesn't allow the CEO to have a relationship with anyone in the company. It promoted Chris Kempczinski to president and CEO.

Mr Easterbrook sent an email to employees yesterday, saying: "This was a mistake. "Given the values of the company, I agree with the board that it is time for me to move on."

With Mr Easterbrook's ousting, the burger chain loses a key architect of its push into electronic ordering and delivery - parts of the business where it was threatening to lag behind competitors such as Burger King. To stress urgency, he tied executives' compensation to the speed and breadth of the rollout, and worked with vendors including UberEats.

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For the most part, the strategy has worked - only a handful of other companies in the Standard & Poor's 500 have outperformed McDonald's since he took over in 2015. But along the way, Mr Easterbrook's changes caused some franchisees to chafe at the expenses being driven down from the corporate headquarters in Chicago.

The company's board had little room for error in how it handled the British executive's transgression. In May, the company had to revamp its harassment policy, under pressure from employees, unions and members of Congress.


Irish Independent

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