American fast-food giant McDonald's forced its general manager Steve Easterbrook to leave the company, considering he had made a misjudgment by recently making a contact that "admitted" to agreeing with an employee, but contrary to the rules. . from the company.
The group said in a statement that this exit "has nothing to do with McDonald's operating or financial performance."
But the board of directors "determined that (Mr. Easterbrook) had violated the company's bylaws and that he had exercised insufficient judgment in relation to a recent relationship with a company member."
In a letter addressed to employees and consulted by AFP, Easterbrook himself admitted that he had "made a mistake."
"Given the company's values, I feel I am the advice that it's time to move on," he wrote.
McDonald's didn't reveal anything about the employee in question, even if it was male or female.
Mr. Easterbrook is replaced, with immediate effect, by Chris Kempczinski, who manages McDonald's activities in the United States so far.
"Chris takes charge of this big company at a time when performance is strong and sustainable, and the board trusts him to be in the best position to set the vision and guide the strategy for the company to continue its success," said the president of the company. company board, Enrique Hernandez Jr., in the statement.
"He has the skills and experience to successfully complete our US operations (2017-2019, Ed), where franchisees deliver strong financial and operational results and by overseeing McDonalds global strategy, business development and innovation." in 2015 and 2016, he added.
A graduate of Duke University and the prestigious Harvard Business School, he is a regular member of consumer goods groups, having previously worked at PepsiCo, Kraft, Procter & Gamble.
– fatal connections –
Mr. Easterbrook joined the company in 2015 as general manager of the company, which has 38,000 restaurants in over 100 countries.
Under his leadership, McDonald's shares doubled on Wall Street and the company's net income increased each year.
However, it could not contain the gradual decline in sales of the company, which, like other large fast-food chains, is facing changes in consumption habits, seeking a healthier diet.
He tried to revitalize turnover by simplifying his card by offering an all-day breakfast, soda and coffee for $ 1 in the United States, or small hamburgers.
McDonald's has also invested heavily in technologies such as order picking, from restaurant kiosks or phone application to delivery services.
The fast-food giant, however, disappointed markets in its latest quarterly report, citing slower than expected US sales growth, where it appears to be paying a heavy price on vegetarian burgers. last mode of the sector.
Workplace connections have cost many CEOs in the United States in recent years, and the issue has become even more sensitive since the #MeToo movement against harassment and sexual assault.
In 2018, microprocessor maker Intel Brian Krzanich and modern yoga maker Lululemon, Laurent Potdevin, were the bosses who left their respective companies to work with employees.
In 2016, Darren Huston, CEO of online shopping site Priceline, had to resign for similar reasons. The same in 2012 for Brian Dunn, CEO of BestBuy retail group.