The 52-year-old head of McDonald’s Steve Easterbrook was dismissed because of a love affair with one of the employees. Easterbrook, who has led the network since 2015, has been a major reformer in the company’s recent history; McDonald’s, which had lagged behind its competitors, was rapidly digitalized.
On Sunday, the company’s employees received a letter from the board of directors, which said that after an investigation into his relationship with one of the employees (her name and position are unknown) Easterbrook is leaving his post. The director himself called the love affair a “mistake” (despite the fact that he was officially divorced and the connection was “by mutual consent”) and wrote in a letter that he agreed with
the decision of the board of directors.
The company said that from this year management closely monitors the behaviour of employees: they, for example, were specially trained on how to resist harassment in the Workplace. The company’s management even had to launch a special hotline on harassment issues after the protests of American trade unions.
Easterbrook has led McDonald’s since 2015. During this time, the company’s shares rose by 120%. This year, the capitalization increased by 9%, ahead of the growth of other fast-food outlets, which are part of the U.S. index of the S’P500. British Easterbrook became only the second non-American to lead the company.
- Before the arrival of Easterbrook, the company faced competition from new fast-food restaurants and a drop in share in the U.S. market (in 2013, it fell from 16% to 14%). The most serious challenge was the growing popularity of healthy eating.
- Under Easterbrook, the company has changed dramatically. The main task of the new CEO was the company’s budgetization and the development of modern services. So, immediately after his appointment, the CEO ordered to urgently develop a delivery system from McDonald’s restaurants around the world. For the widest possible delivery deployment, American McDonald’s has teamed up with Uber Eats.
- Easterbrook also said that he wants to introduce Big Tech into the company and return to it the image of the “beacon of innovation”: he came up with the option to install scanners of machine numbers and receipts in the mak-auto when ordering from a car, touch screen kiosks.
- It was at Easterbrook that McDonald’s installed self-service touch kiosks where people could not only order and pay for food on their own but also “tune” their hamburgers (add or remove some ingredients). The idea was that giving customers more information on orders (which is part of the burger) would result in them paying more for custom-made goods. That’s what happened.
- In March of this year, McDonald’s acquired Dynamic Yield, an artificial intelligence startup: the network analyzed the time of day, restaurant attendance, weather and purchases incomparable restaurants.
The CEO will be replaced by 51-year-old Chris Kempinski, who has already said that despite Easterbrook’s resignation, the company will continue to implement some of its plans.
Easterbrook is also on the board of Walmart. It is not yet clear whether he will remain in his post there.