The fast food chain announced he would be replaced by Chris Kempczinski, the president of McDonald's USA

By Claudia Harmata
November 03, 2019 07:07 PM
Credit: Rob Latour/Shutterstock

McDonald’s said it has fired CEO Steve Easterbrook over a “consensual” relationship with an unnamed employee.

The fast food giant made the announcement on Sunday, stating that Easterbrook, 52, had “separated from the Company following the Board’s determination that he violated company policy and demonstrated poor judgment involving a recent consensual relationship with an employee.”

According to The Wall Street Journal, Easterbrook — who became the CEO in 2015 — has also resigned from the McDonald’s board.

“As for my departure, I engaged in a recent consensual relationship with an employee, which violated McDonald’s policy,” Easterbrook said in an email to McDonald’s employees on Sunday, both CNN and The Wall Street Journal reported. “This was a mistake. Given the values of the company, I agree with the board that it is time for me to move on. Beyond this, I hope you can respect my desire to maintain my privacy.”

McDonald’s restaurant sign
| Credit: SAN FRANCISCO - FEBRUARY 09: A sign stands outside of a McDonald's restaurant February 9, 2009 in San Francisco, California. Fast food chain restaurant McDonald's reported a 7.1 percent increase in same store sales for January as people look towards cheaper food alternatives in the weakening economy. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Easterbrook reportedly added that his time as CEO “have been the most fulfilling years of my working life.”

No further details were provided about his relationship with the unnamed employee.

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

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“Chris takes the reins of this great company at a time of strong, sustained performance, and the Board has every confidence that he is the best leader to set the vision and drive the plans for the Company’s continued success,” Enrique Hernandez Jr., chairman of McDonald’s board of directors, said in a press release

Kempczinski, 51, said he is “thrilled” to be taking on a larger role in the company and is “energized” by the new challenge ahead of him. In an interview with The Wall Street Journal on Sunday, he said that he plans to maintain the course started by Easterbrook, carrying on the company’s focus on and investments in new technology.

“There isn’t going to be some radical, strategic shift,” Kempczinski said. “The plan is working.”