Fired McDonald's CEO Will Get $670K Golden Handshake

Company's top HR exec is also leaving
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 5, 2019 2:05 AM CST
Fired McDonald's CEO to Get $670K Severance Package
McDonald's CEO Steve Easterbrook visits the trading floor of the New York Stock Exchange, Wednesday, July 26, 2017.   (AP Photo/Richard Drew)

Fired CEO Steve Easterbrook is getting a golden handshake from the Golden Arches. The McDonald's CEO will receive around $670,000 from the company, which is half his annual salary. But according to a separation agreement filed Monday, Easterbrook will forfeit almost $22 million in unvested stock options, USA Today reports. The 52-year-old, who was fired for having a consensual relationship with an employee, received a total of $15.9 million from the company last year including salary, stock options, and incentive payments. His replacement, Chris Kempczinski, will have an annual base salary of $1.25 million with a bonus of up to 170% of salary, McDonald's says.

The severance agreement bars Easterbrook from working for competing fast food chains or companies including Starbucks for two years. The company's top human resources executive is also leaving, the AP reports. McDonald's said Monday that Chief People Officer David Fairhurst has left the company effective immediately. The company said Fairhurst's departure was unrelated to Easterbrook's exit, although marketing exec Jordan Cohen suspects otherwise. "These types of scandals don't come out of nowhere so clearly there was a breakdown there," he tells the Guardian. "Someone was aware of the situation and did not act to address it, didn't surface it to the board, or was acting to protect the CEO and not the interests of the company." (More McDonald's stories.)

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