By: Dylan Kemp
On Sunday, McDonald’s announced that CEO Steve Easterbrook was fired for violating company policy by having a consensual relationship with an employee. In a press release, the board had determined that Easterbrook “demonstrated poor judgment” by engaging in the relationship.
In an email to his former employees, Easterbrook stated that his termination “was a mistake” and that “given the values of the company, I agree with the board that it is time for me to move on”.
McDonald’s did not provide any details on the relationship between Easterbrook and the unnamed employee but said that Easterbrook will be replaced by McDonalds USA President Chris Kempczinski.
Easterbrook had become the CEO of McDonald’s in 2015, previously holding the title of chief brand officer of McDonald’s and its former head in the U.K. and Northern Europe. Ever since becoming CEO, Easterbrook saw the turnaround of the company, with its shares rising 96% to $193.94. Easterbrook also modernized the company, has remodeled many of its stores, fitting them with digital menu boards that customers could order from, and acquiring the artificial intelligence startup, Dynamic Yield, which is supposed to enhance customer experience inside and in the drive-thru.
In accepting his new position as CEO, Kempczinski wrote to employees that “I am excited to take the reigns of this incredible company and grateful for the Board’s confidence in me. I am particularly fortunate to be surrounded by such a talented team as we take this brand to the future.”