McDonald's CEO Steve Easterbrook out after 'poor judgment' involving relationship with employee

McDonald's CEO Steve Easterbrook is interviewed at the New York Stock Exchange. McDonald's said Sunday Nov. 3 2019 that Easterbrook has stepped down after violating company policy by engaging

Steve Easterbrook has been fired as McDonald's CEO and president after the fast food giant's board determined that he violated company policy. However, this ran contrary to company policy, which strictly forbids managers from becoming romantically involved with direct and indirect subordinates.

In an email to staff, the British businessman acknowledged the relationship and said it was a mistake.

The departure of Mr Easterbrook, who had led McDonald's since 2015, is among the most significant in corporate America in the past several years over relationships deemed inappropriate. Details of Easterbrook's separation package will be released Monday in a federal filing, according to a company spokesman.

McDonald's announced that Easterbrook would be immediately replaced by Chris Kempczinski, the president of McDonald's USA.

Kempczinski's replacement as the head of the company's US business, Erlinger, has worked with McDonald's since 2002 and has held positions overseeing some of the company's key worldwide markets. He improved sales - still on the upswing this year - and restructured the company, speeding up decision-making and cutting hundreds of millions in overhead costs, Maze said.

In his email, Easterbrook called Kempczinski "an important partner to me over the last four years and is the ideal person to take on the role of CEO".

That means the statement about Easterbrook was the "latest" news at McDonald's for just a very short time.

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Erlinger will oversee business operations of approximately 14,000 McDonald's restaurants in the United States, and he will report to Kempczinski.

The company named Joe Erlinger, who has been president of worldwide operated markets, as president of McDonald's US, succeeding Mr Kempczinski. "There isn't going to be some radical, strategic shift".

Later in an interview with the Wall Street Journal he confirmed that he will maintain Steve Easterbrook's focus on technology when he takes over as CEO. "The plan is working", Kempczinski said in an interview on Sunday.

His pay as CEO rose with McDonald's share price, which closed Friday at $194. He will also join the board.

"I will be cheering you on and know that McDonald's will continue to do great things".

When bad news happens - and no matter how this turns out for McDonald's in the future, it's bad news to have to fire your CEO for a relationship with an employee - you want to put it behind you as quickly as you can.

Without knowing, I'd have to guess that this whole situation became an issue within McDonald's over the weekend.

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