McDonald's Ex-CEO Hits Back at the Chain

Steve Easterbrook seeks to have fast food chain's lawsuit against him tossed
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 17, 2020 2:59 AM CDT
McDonald's Ex-CEO Hits Back at the Chain
In a July 26, 2017 file photo, McDonald's CEO Steve Easterbrook is interviewed at the New York Stock Exchange.   (AP Photo/Richard Drew, File)

The former CEO of McDonald's is hitting back at the fast food chain, filing court documents Friday seeking to have the company's lawsuit against him tossed. Steve Easterbrook was ousted last year due to an inappropriate relationship with an employee, and now McDonald's is seeking to recoup some of the millions paid to Easterbrook upon his departure, claiming it just discovered that he also covered up relationships with other employees. In his filing, Easterbrook says that's not true, and that the company had all the relevant information about his relationships with subordinates when it negotiated his separation agreement, Bloomberg reports. McDonald's says it stands by its complaint.

"McDonald’s—a sophisticated entity represented by numerous internal and external experts when it entered into the separation agreement—is aware it cannot credibly allege a breach of contract claim," Easterbrook’s lawyers say in the filing. "Instead, it improperly seeks to manufacture claims for a breach of fiduciary duty or fraud." At Crain's Chicago Business, Joe Cahill argues that McDonald's completely mishandled Easterbrook’s ouster. "Directors last fall missed a chance to take an unequivocal stance on behalf of shareholders and employees," he writes. (More McDonald's stories.)

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