McDonald’s CEO steps down after relationship with employee

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Steve Easterbrook

FILE – In this Wednesday, July 26, 2017, file photo, 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 in a consensual relationship with an employee. (AP Photo/Richard Drew, File)

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February 07 2021 06:00 pm

NEW YORK (AP) – McDonald’s Corporation says its chief executive officer has left the company after violating company policy by engaging in a consensual relationship with an employee.

The fast-food giant announced former CEO Steve Easterbrook’s departure Sunday, saying he demonstrated poor judgment. McDonald’s forbids managers from having romantic relationships with direct or indirect reports.

In an email to employees, Easterbrook acknowledged he had a relationship with an employee and said it was a mistake. He said given the values of the company he agreed with the board that it’s time to move on.

The board of directors named Chris Kempczinski as its new president and CEO. Kempczinski recently served as president of McDonald’s USA.

Kempczinski thanked Easterbrook for his contributions and described him as a patient and helpful mentor.

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