Burger giant, McDonald’s Corp. has fired Chief Executive Steve Easterbrook for having consensual relationship with an employee.
The company said Sunday that its board voted Friday to terminate Mr. Easterbrook’s appointment after investigating his relationship with the unnamed employee. It did not provide other details apart from saying it acted swiftly after the relationship was reported to it.
In an email to McDonald’s employees on Sunday, Easterbrook who also resigned from McDonald’s board, said he had violated company policy on personal conduct.
“This was a mistake,” he wrote. “Given the values of the company, I agree with the board that it is time for me to move on.”
A representative for Mr. Easterbrook said he is grateful for his time at the company and has declined to comment further.
McDonald’s said Mr. Easterbrook would be succeeded immediately by USA President Chris Kempczinski, 51 years old.
Some social media users have however expressed disbelief at the development, many wondering why he would be punished for a consensual relationship.
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Wall Street Journal writes that “Mr. Easterbrook, 52, has been chief executive since March 2015. During his tenure, the company’s shares nearly doubled in value but traffic to U.S. restaurants has continued to stagnate. McDonald’s is reckoning with challenges reverberating throughout the food industry from meat producers to supermarkets as consumers switch to products that they view as more healthful and big companies sacrifice profit for technological upgrades and delivery.
“Mr. Kempczinski, who helped implement many of the recent changes as head of U.S. operations, said he would maintain Mr. Easterbrook’s focus on technology as CEO and believes the company’s investments will pay off.
“There isn’t going to be some radical, strategic shift. The plan is working,” Mr. Kempczinski said in an interview on Sunday.
“McDonald’s said Joe Erlinger, most recently president of international operated markets, is succeeding Mr. Kempczinski to oversee McDonald’s roughly 14,000 domestic restaurants.”