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McDonald’s Fires CEO Over Relationship With Employee

Steve Easterbrook took over as CEO in 2015. Photo: Alyssa Schukar/AP/Shutterstock

On Sunday, while everyone was lining up to celebrate the return of Popeyes chicken sandwich, the board of McDonald’s was busy firing CEO Steve Easterbrook.

Reuters reports that the fast-food company’s board voted to oust Easterbrook after it came to light that he had engaged in a romantic relationship with a member of his staff. (Easterbrook is divorced with three children.) The board determined that even though the relationship was consensual, it violated company policy and “demonstrated poor judgement” on Easterbrook’s part.

Under Easterbrook’s leadership, the company’s stock price steadily rose from $99 per share in early 2015, when Easterbrook took over from former CEO Don Thompson, to a peak of $214 per share in August 2019. In an email to employees, Easterbrook wrote, “This was a mistake. Given the values of the company, I agree with the board that it is time for me to move on.” He has been replaced by Chris Kempczinski, former president of McDonald’s USA.

McDonald’s Fires CEO Over Relationship With Employee