Easterbrook Out as McDonald’s CEO
In a press release on Sunday, November 3, McDonald’s announced sweeping changes to its leadership team following the firing of CEO, Steve Easterbrook, effective immediately. The company cites the reasons for Easterbrook’s ousting as “following the Board's determination that he violated company policy and demonstrated poor judgment involving a recent consensual relationship with an employee.”
Easterbrook took the helm at McDonald’s in March of 2015 and is recognized for helping to turn around the company’s financial outlook after a particularly poor yearly performance. He has also been a driving force behind the company’s positioning as a technological leader, leading the acquisition of Dynamic Yield and Apprente. Both of the companies acquired in 2019 stand to put McDonald’s at the forefront of strategies that employ artificial intelligence and machine learning to drive business. Easterbrook also was responsible for McDonald’s partnerships with third-party delivery providers including DoorDash and Uber Eats at a time when the services were still rather nascent.
McDonald's expects to file its Form 10-Q for the period ending September 30, 2019, by Tuesday, November 5, 2019. The Company confirms that this leadership transition is unrelated to the Company's operational or financial performance.
Following the news of Easterbrook’s departure, the company’s Board of Directors named Chris Kempczinski, most recently President, McDonald's USA, as President and Chief Executive Officer, effective immediately. Kempczinski has also been elected to the McDonald's Board of Directors.
"Chris takes the reins of this great company at a time of strong, sustained performance, and the Board has every confidence that he is the best leader to set the vision and drive the plans for the Company's continued success. He has the right mix of skills and experience to lead us forward having run our U.S. business, where franchisees are delivering strong financial and operational results, and overseen global strategy, business development and innovation. In particular, Chris was instrumental in the development of the Company's strategic plan, which has enabled global growth and leadership, and has overseen the most comprehensive transformation of the U.S. business in McDonald's history," said Enrique Hernandez Jr., Chairman of McDonald's Board of Directors.
Kempczinski first joined McDonald's in 2015, overseeing global strategy, business development and innovation. In that role, he served the business units and franchisees by identifying new ideas and best practices to accelerate their growth and grow the overall value of the system.