In this file:


·         Why McDonald's had no choice but to fire CEO Steve Easterbrook for his relationship with an employee

·         Fired McDonald’s CEO barred from working for rival for 2 years under severance agreement

·         The New McDonald's CEO Just Sent an Email to Every McDonald's Employee. Here's Why It Reads the Way It Does



Why McDonald's had no choice but to fire CEO Steve Easterbrook for his relationship with an employee


Tara Law, TIME

via MSN - Nov 4, 2019 


Not many CEOs are credited with having as much impact as Steve Easterbrook had in his four years leading McDonald’s. During his tenure, the fast food giant nearly doubled its share price, and many analysts say he modernized the company when it was in danger of decline. None of that success could protect his job after he apparently violated a company-wide policy that barred supervisors from having relationships with subordinates.


Experts say the company had no choice but to enforce this policy. Especially since the start of the #MeToo movement, companies have been under increased pressure to show that they’re cracking down on all forms of sexual misconduct — and that now they need to show that no one is exempt, even successful C-suite executives.


“Companies and executives and boards are being far more sensitive to personal relationships, whether consensual or nonconsensual, than has been true in the past,” says Erika James, the dean of Dean of Emory University’s Goizueta Business School.


McDonald’s, in particular, has built an empire based on consistency. Its 36,000 restaurants worldwide are known not only for the company’s iconic golden arches, but also for the “billions and billions served” reliability of its products.


“Any organization that has a strong brand—they have that strong brand because of consistency,” says James.


Allowing Easterbrook to stay at the company would send the message that the company’s policies don’t matter—and that not everyone in the workforce will be treated equitably, Laurie Weingart, a professor of organizational behavior and theory at Carnegie Mellon University’s Tepper School of Business, says.


“Once you send the signal that you don’t walk the talk, you undermine all the other efforts that are taking place in the organization to make it a more inclusive and equitable environment, and one that’s free from harassment,” she says.


Workplace relationships aren’t necessarily new, but #MeToo has helped to highlight how problematic they can be when they involve a boss dating an underling. Weingart says that when a supervisor dates a subordinate, it’s impossible to eliminate the “power differential.” A supervisor has the power to give the employee unfair advantages—or ruin their career if the relationship takes a sour turn.


Easterbrook’s firing comes as workers at the company’s franchise and corporate restaurants have filed a slew of complaints and harassment-related lawsuits...





Fired McDonald’s CEO barred from working for rival for 2 years under severance agreement

Steven Easterbrook, whose consensual relationship with an employee violated company policy, also will receive 26 weeks of pay


By  Hannah Knowles and Taylor Telford, The Washington Post

November 4, 2019


Ousted McDonald’s CEO Steve Easterbrook cannot take a job with a rival fast-food business for two years, according to a regulatory filing Monday, one day after the company announced he had shown “poor judgment” by engaging in a consensual relationship with an employee.


Easterbrook’s separation agreement temporarily prohibits him from working for such competitors as Burger King, Yum Brands and Starbucks, as well as convenience store giants such as 7-Eleven and Wawa. He also will receive 26 weeks of pay, though the value of the severance package was not immediately clear. Easterbrook earned nearly $16 million in 2018, including a base salary of $1.35 million.


The board of directors fired Easterbrook on Friday after concluding he had violated the company’s policy against manager relationships with direct or indirect reports and announced the decision Sunday. He was replaced by Chris Kempczinski, previously the president of McDonald’s USA.


Meanwhile, McDonald’s announced the departure of Chief People Officer David Fairhurst on Monday, effective immediately. The company declined to comment further, calling it a personnel matter.


Easterbrook joins a growing list of chief executives forced out over their personal relationships as more companies implement rules against dating subordinates in the #MeToo era.


“We are seeing substantially more interest” in these policies, Jonathan Segal, a Philadelphia-based employment lawyer, told The Washington Post last year, after Intel’s chief executive stepped down for breaking his company’s rules with a consensual relationship.


“I’m seeing more companies ask about them,” Segal said. “I’m seeing more companies add them to their anti-harassment policies. I’ve seen more companies look at them in their codes of conduct.”


McDonald’s has not shared further details of the relationship that led to the firing. Easterbrook, a former head of the company’s U.K. operations, is divorced, according to the Sunday Times of London.


In an email to employees, Easterbrook called the relationship...





The New McDonald's CEO Just Sent an Email to Every McDonald's Employee. Here's Why It Reads the Way It Does

'Some of my fondest childhood memories were of my experiences at a McDonald's....'


By Bill Murphy Jr.,

Nov 5, 2019


You might know by now that McDonald's fired its chief executive officer Sunday, and tapped the former head of its U.S. operations to the top overall role.


Details about the sudden change are a bit scarce, except that outgoing CEO Steve Easterbrook was let go after a "recent consensual relationship" that "violated company policy and demonstrated poor judgment," according to the company.


I've never met the new CEO, Chris Kempczinski, but I have some empathy for his position. It's a heck of a moment to take over as the head of one of the most important U.S. companies.


Our first indication of how he plans to lead comes from the 500-word email he apparently sent to all employees just after his surprise promotion. Here's why it reads the way it does.


(I've included the entire email for reference at the end of this article.)


1. The first four words


When you take over as a leader in circumstances like these, you have two choices in your first message to the troops, so to speak:


    Acknowledge the circumstances that brought you here, and propose how to deal with them together

    Forget about the past, drive on 100 percent, and try to overcome yesterday's controversial news with tomorrow's performance.


Kempczinski is definitely pursuing the second option. The subject line of his company wide email -- which are thus the first four words that McDonald's employees will hear from him, are "Our Path Forward Together."


I'm aware that this whole email might well have been lawyered and PR'ed within an inch of its life, but it appears over Kempczinski's signature, so I'm going to attribute it to him.


I don't know how McDonald's employees will react to this, but it's 100 percent forward-looking.


2. The passion paragraphs ...


3. The truth-telling paragraphs ...