McDonald’s Fires C.E.O. Steve Easterbrook After Relationship With Employee

McDonald’s CEO ousted after having ‘consensual’
relationship with an employee. MCDONALD’S boss Steve Easterbrook has been
fired after breaking company rules by having a relationship with an employee. The fast food giant said the 52-year-old British-born
chief executive, who was paid £12 million last year, had demonstrated poor judgement. McDonald’s forbids bosses from having consensual
romantic relationships with subordinates, regardless of whether they directly manage
them. In an email to employees, Easterbrook, who
is recently divorced and has three children, acknowledged he had a relationship with an
employee and said it was a mistake. “Given the values of the company, I agree
with the board that it is time for me to move on,” he said. Watford-born Easterbrook joined McDonald’s
in 1993 as a manager in London and worked his way up through the ranks of the company. He left to become the boss of Pizza Express
in 2011 and then Wagamama before returning to McDonald’s in 2013 after which he became
the global boss of the company. Scrutiny of executives and their treatment
of employees has intensified amid the #MeToo movement, which highlighted sexual harassment
in the workplace and abuse of power by male executives. In June 2018, Intel Corp CEO Brian Krzanich
resigned after an investigation found he had a consensual relationship with an employee
that breached company policy. According to Carl Tobias, a law professor
at the University of Richmond, Easterbrook’s sacking is sign of the influence of MeToo#. “Other companies don’t always act on that
kind of information or fire their CEO for that, and so it seems like they trying to
enforce a pretty strict policy in this situation,” he said. McDonald’s has itself faced sexual harassment
charges and in May said it was enhancing training and offering a new hotline, after workers
filed dozens of complaints against the company. Fight for $15, the group which filed the charges,
said McDonald’s response to its sexual harassment complaints has been inadequate, and “the company
needs to be completely transparent about Easterbrook’s firing and any other executive departures
related to these issues”. McDonald’s board of directors decided on Easterbrook’s
departure on Friday after conducting a thorough review. Details of Easterbrook’s separation package
will be released today, said a company spokesperson. Under his leadership the company’s shares
nearly doubled in value while sales at its US restaurants stagnated. He was responsible for expanding delivery
and mobile payments as well as bringing in digital ordering kiosks.

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