McDonald’s lost another top executive after CEO ouster

Chris Kempczinski

McDonald’s looses another top executive, as the Chicago-based burger giant revealed Monday that Chief People Officer David Fairhurst has left the company with immediate effect.

McDonald’s did not clear whether Fairhurst’s departure was in any connection with the sacking of CEO Steve Easterbrook. Easterbrook was asked to leave for breaching company policy by having a consensual relationship with an employee.

McDonald’s announced Easterbrook will get 26 weeks of pay but will be deprived off millions in unvested stock options as part of his severance agreement.

Easterbrook’s 2018 compensation was $15.9 million. That is a combination of $1.3 million in salary and the rest in stock options and incentive payments.

Under his severance agreement, Easterbrook will be eligible for a prorated incentive payment for the fiscal year 2019. During year 2018, Easterbrook had unvested options worth $21.8 million.

Easterbrook is also restrained from working for any competitor for two years.

McDonald’s board appointed Chris Kempczinski as the company’s new president and CEO. Kempczinski headed as president of McDonald’s U.S. division.

McDonald’s revealed Monday that Kempczinski’s base salary will be $1.25 million, which is 58% higher than his 2018 compensation.

It is believed that Kempczinski will most likely work Easterbrook’s way, focusing on redesigning U.S. stores to make them more digitally appealing and testing voice-based technology at drive-thrus.

“We believe these initiatives will continue largely unchanged and Mr. Kempczinski’s legacy will hinge on his ability to generate traffic growth in the U.S., which neither of his two predecessors were able to achieve,” BTIG Managing Director Peter Saleh said in a note to investors.