After CEO, now McDonald’s HR head quits


One day after McDonald’s announced the dismissal of its chief executive over a relationship with an employee, the company confirmed Monday its top human resources executive also departed the fast-food giant.

David Fairhurst, who joined McDonald’s in 2005 and was named chief people officer at the restaurant chain in 2015, left the company, a McDonald’s spokeswoman said, declining to comment further.

The company announced Sunday that chief executive Steve Easterbrook had left the company following a “consensual relationship” with an employee that violated company policy.

“Easterbrook… has separated from the company following the board’s determination that he violated company policy and demonstrated poor judgment involving a recent consensual relationship with an employee,” the company said in a statement.

Easterbrook’s separation agreement includes six months’ severance pay, plus stock options that are currently vested or would become vested within three years. Options that are not exercisable within that period will be forfeited, according to a US securities filing.

Easterbrook agreed to release any claims against the company and to not work for two years for a lengthy list of competitors that includes Burger King, Chick-fil-A, Starbucks and Pizza Hut.

In 2018, Easterbrook’s base pay was $1.3 million and his total compensation including bonus and stock options was $15.9 million.

A note from Morningstar praised Easterbrook’s successor, Chris Kempczinski, who joined McDonald’s in October 2015 after working in a senior strategic role at Kraft Foods and previously at PepsiCo.

Kempczinski, who became head of McDonald’s USA in 2017, helped promote digital technology and home delivery, Morningstar said.

McDonald’s shares tumbled 2.9 percent to $188.25 in afternoon trading.

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