McDonald’s chief Easterbrook fired after affair

Just when you thought everything in the garden was rosy – McDonald’s has fired its British-born CEO Steve Easterbrook, who’s overseen a doubling in its share price since taking the top job in 2015, over a “consensual relationship” with an employee.This, it says, “violated company policy and demonstrated poor judgement.”

Easterbrook (below), who’s divorced, says: “I engaged in a recent consensual relationship with an employee, which violated McDonald’s policy. 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.”

US president Chris Kempczinski takes over as president and CEO.

McDonald’s has suffered slowing sales in the US recently in the face of increased competition, particularly from “plant-based” offerings but, officially at least, this seems to have nothing to do with Easterbrook’s shock departure.

Most people meet partners, long term or short, at work, college or even school. It used to be the norm for CEO’s second wives to be their secretary. You have to think the world has gone slightly bonkers.

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About Stephen Foster

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Stephen is a former editor of Marketing Week and London Evening Standard advertising columnist. He wrote City Republic for Brand Republic and is a partner in communications consultancy The Editorial Partnership.

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