04 November 2019 08:34
THE British boss of fast food chain McDonald's has stepped down after a row over a romantic relationship with an employee. CEO Stephen Easterbrook, 52, broke company rules by having a consensual relationship with the junior member of staff. In an email to staff, Mr Easterbrook - who is divorced - confirmed he was leaving. READ MORE: Andy Murray and wife Kim celebrating birth of first son He wrote: "This was a mistake. Given the values of the company, I agree with the board that it is time for me to move on." The burger chain issued its own statement saying the executive had "demonstrated poor judgment".
Steve Easterbrook Scrutiny of executives and their treatment of employees, especially the risk of sexual harassment, has intensified amid the MeToo movement. McDonald's also seeks to promote a family-friendly image, for example through its 'Happy Meal'. Mr Easterbrook, who joined McDonald's after running other fast food chains, has been described by former colleagues as funny, fair and a lover of simplicity. The staff member Mr Easterbrook became involved with has not commented. McDonald's board of directors voted on Mr Easterbrook's departure Friday after conducting a thorough review. READ MORE: Islanders are the happiest residents in Scotland The board of directors named Chris Kempczinski, 51, who recently served as president of McDonald's USA, as its new president and CEO. Mr Easterbrook, who is originally from Watford in London, has been McDonald's global boss since 2015. Under his leadership the company's shares nearly doubled in value while sales at its US locations stagnated. The CEO's salary was tied to McDonald's share price peaking in 2017 at £16 million. Details of Mr Easterbrook's severance package will be made public in a federal filing tomorrow, when the company files its third-quarter earnings report.