McDonald's CEO Steve Easterbrook forced to step down after relationship with employee

4 November 2019, 07:44

Steve Easterbrook was forced to step down on Friday
Steve Easterbrook was forced to step down on Friday. Picture: PA

By Megan White

The CEO of McDonald’s has been forced to step down after it emerged he was in a romantic relationship with an employee.

Steve Easterbrook was ousted on Friday for violating company policy, which bans managers from having relationships with direct or indirect employees.

The fast food giant said the former president, 52, had demonstrated poor judgment.

In an email to workers, Mr Easterbrook acknowledged the relationship and said it 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.”

McDonald's board of directors voted on Mr Easterbrook's departure after conducting a thorough review.

Details of his separation package will be released on Monday in a federal filing, according to a company spokesperson.

The Watford-born Brit had worked for the restaurant chain since 1993, leaving in 2011 to become CEO of Pizza Express, before moving to Wagamama.

He returned to McDonald’s in 2013 before becoming CEO in 2015.

Mr Easterbrook earned almost £12 million last year.

The board of directors named Chris Kempczinski, who recently served as president of McDonald's USA, as its new president and CEO.

Mr Kempczinski was instrumental in the development of McDonald's strategic plan and oversaw the most comprehensive transformation of the US business in McDonald's history, said Enrique Hernandez, chairman of McDonald's board, in a statement.

"Steve brought me into McDonald's and he was a patient and helpful mentor," Mr Kempczinski said, thanking him for his contributions.