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Chris Kempczinski Replaces Ousted CEO Steve Easterbrook at McDonald’s Helm

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Chicago, Illinois, USA-headquartered McDonald’s Corporation announced on November 3 that Chris Kempczinski (pictured above) has been named its as its president and chief executive officer, following dismissal of Steve Easterbrook from the post for what the board of directors determined was a violation of company policy and demonstration of “poor judgment involving a recent consensual relationship with an employee.”

While no further details were available from the world’s leading QSR operator when this story was filed, the New York Post reported on Sunday evening that the outgoing executive, who earned $15.9 million in pay last year, apologized to staffers in an e-mail communication and “acknowledged that the dalliance was a mistake.” He is said to have written: “Given the values of the company, I agree with the board that it is time for me to move on.”

Former McDonald’s President and CEO Steve Easterbrook was ousted for “poor judgment involving a recent consensual relationship with an employee,” according to a statement issued by the board of directors.

Easterbrook, who joined McDonald’s in 1993 as a manger based in London and advanced to head operations in the United Kingdom and northern Europe, oversaw the company’s share value doubling in value during the five years he was at the helm. The stock price closed at $194 on Friday, up 9.2% for the year, after the company logged a “strong performance” for the third quarter that ended on September 30, 2019. However, for the first time in two years, notwithstanding 17 consecutive quarters of global comparable sales growth, results fell short of Wall Street profit expectation.

McDonald’s expects to file its Form 10-Q for the period ending September 30, 2019, by November 5. According to the company, the leadership current transition is unrelated to its operational or financial performance.

In announcing Kempczinski’s rise to the spot, McDonald’s Chairman Enrique Hernandez Jr. stated: “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 US business, where franchisees are delivering strong financial and operational results, and overseen global strategy, business development and innovation.”

Kempczinski was previously president of McDonald’s USA, where he was responsible for the business operations of approximately 14,000 restaurants in the United States. He first joined the company 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.

Meanwhile Joe Erlinger, most recently president in charge of international operated markets, has been appointed to assume Kempczinski’s former role as president of McDonald’s USA.