Skip to content
Subscriber Only

McDonald’s CEO Had to Go in Era of Zero Tolerance Policy

  • CEO Easterbrook leaves, followed by human resources head
  • Chief’s workplace relationship put company in tough position
Video player cover image
McDonald’s Fires CEO Over Employee Relationship
Updated on

McDonald’s Corp. has been working hard to fend off accusations it overlooks workplace harassment and abuse. So when it came to light that its chief executive officer was in a relationship with a colleague, the board had little room to maneuver: Steve Easterbrook had to go.

The world’s biggest restaurant chain announced Sunday it replaced Easterbrook with Chris Kempczinski, the head of U.S. operations. A day later, David Fairhurst, the company’s global people officer, was out the door. Mason Smoot, a senior vice president who oversees strategic alignment and staff, stepped into the HR role on an interim basis.