McDonald's is one of the most popular fast food chains in the world. With billions of dollars in the business, the CEO must be on top of their game at all times. However, that is not always the case. Mistakes are made often, some being bigger than others.
According to the New York Times, Steve Easterbrook, chief executive of McDonald's, has engaged in a relationship that violated company policy. Although the relationship was said to be consensual, he was fired from his CEO position immediately following. McDonald's Standards Of Business and Conduct policy states, "employees who have a direct or indirect reporting relationship to each other are prohibited from dating or having a sexual relationship."
Easterbrook became CEO in March 2015, and did a lot of great things for McDonald's. In an interview with the New York Times, Jonathan Maze stated, “There’s no question he’s been a very good CEO during his time there. He really made that organization a lot leaner, they make decisions a lot more quickly. They have gone from a company that was well behind on technology to one that is arguably at the forefront of things like artificial intelligence and delivery.”
Easterbrook has also emphasized technological innovation, striking food-delivery deals with third party vendors like Uber Eats and DoorDash.
Although Easterbrook turned McDonald's around in a time of need, the policy must be stuck to. Easterbrook wrote an email to his employees about this situation, he stated, "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The New York Times stated that Easterbrook has been replaced by Chris Kempczinski who has recently served as the president of McDonald's USA. Kempczinski will face new challenges in the business, but sources say he developed a strategic plan that company officials say has transformed the business, outlining the chain’s focus on digital technology and delivery.
“I’m happiest when I’m in our restaurants, visiting with franchisees, their crew and our customers, Yes, we serve delicious food and offer great experiences, but our brand means so much more. We stand for opportunity and empowerment for everyone,” stated Kempczinski. In the email concerning Easterbrook's termination, he thanked him for being a patient and helpful mentor. Kempczinski looks forward to this new opportunity.