McDonald’s fires its CEO over relationship with employee

Former McDonald’s CEO Steve Easterbrook unveils the company’s new Chicago headquarters in 2018.
Photo: Scott Olson (Getty Images)

The world’s largest fast food company has a new CEO. The McDonald’s board fired previous CEO Steve Easterbrook after it came to light that he was engaged in a consensual relationship with a company employee, violating McDonald’s company policy. The board then named former McDonald’s USA president Chris Kempczinski to the role of CEO, noting in a statement that Easterbrook “separated from the company following the board’s determination that he violated company policy and demonstrated poor judgment involving a recent consensual relationship with an employee.”

Easterbrook had been CEO since 2015, and saw McDonald’s through a rocky financial patch in 2015, steadily growing it technological suite and upgrading its drive-thrus. USA Today reports Easterbrook wrote an email to McDonald’s employees last week, stating in part: “This was a mistake. Given the values of the company, I agree with the board that it is time for me to move on.”

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New CEO Chris Kempczinski has led McDonald’s American operations since 2015, overseeing approximately 14,000 locations in that capacity.

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Kate Bernot

Kate Bernot is managing editor at The Takeout and a certified beer judge.