McDonald’s fires CEO and President Steve James Easterbrook

McDonalds, US fast food giant has fired its President and CEO (Chief Executive Officer) Steve James Easterbrook for being in a relationship with another company employee. Though the relationship was consensual, he was fired for ‘violating company policy’, he was said to have shown poor judgement.

Easterbrook sent a mail to the staff accepting the relationships, recognizing it as a mistake. He said ‘Given the values of the company, I agree with the board that it is time for me to move on’.

Easterbrook, 52, who is from UK joined McDonald’s in 1993 as a manager in London and worked his way up to the top from there.

He left the company to head Pizza Express in 2011 and from there he joined Wagamama, a British food chain of Japanese cuisine. In 2013 he returned to McDonald’s as Head of Uk and Northern Europe.

He became the CEO on 1st March 2015 succeeding Don Thompson. He is credited for reviving the brand and its image by remodelling the restaurants and its menus and upgrading the raw material and ingredients used in making the food. McDonald’s saw their share price doubling their value in the US while he was in the office.

It was under his leadership that McD invested in its mobile payment and delivery options which increased convenience for its customers.

Easterbrook’s departure was confirmed on Friday when McDonald’s board took a vote after the review of the situation. He is no more a member of the board.

McDonald’s has a strict rule wherein managers are forbidden from being romantically involved with their subordinates. 

The company is under fire from the public over the difference between the salaries and little money it pays to the franchise staff. In 2018, Easterbrook took home a staggering $15.9million (£12.3 million), to give it some perspective, the average salary of McDonald’s employees is $7,473; 2,124 times less than Easterbrook’s.

Easterbrook will be replaced by his mentee Chris Kempczinski who was the president of McDonald’s USA until now. In a statement Kempczinski said ‘Steve brought me into McDonald’s and he was a patient and helpful mentor’.

In 2018, Intel’s CEO Brian Krzanich was asked to step down from his post after his relationship came out in the limelight with an employee. Intel too have a strict policy against this. He was Intel’s CEO for 5 years.

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