Steve Easterbrook was let go from McDonald’s last fall for being involved in an extramarital relationship with an employee. At that time, the consensual relationship was believed to be non-physical and a singular occurrence between the former CEO and an employee. But McDonald’s discovered that he engaged in physical and sexual relationships with several employees.
Two weeks ago, former McDonald’s CEO Steve Easterbrook requested the Delaware court to dismiss the case McDonald’s filed against him. The fast-food chain giant is suing him to repossess his severance package after discovering that the former CEO had sexual relations with three women while working at the company.
The board members removed Easterbrook from the office in November. They presented him with a severance payment package deal estimated to be worth tens of millions of dollars after admitting to an affair with an employee. He later denied any sexual relationships with any of the workers. In addition to the termination package, some advantages for McDonald’s also contain a non-compete and non-disparagement clause. The former CEO’s lawyer identified in his request for the case’s dismissal.
Easterbrook protested that McDonald’s has known about the “new” findings of his presumed relationships the whole time. Steve Easterbrook was said to have scrubbed and erased emails and conversations containing evidence of those affairs on his smartphone, yet they are still on its servers, McDonald’s stated.
McDonald’s shared that in its filing, Easterbrook’s argument comes down to “he cannot be liable because he did not hide his misconduct well enough as a matter of law.”
In a statement to CNBC, the fast-food giant said that when they had investigated, Steve Easterbrook lied. He ignored and violated McDonald’s policies, disrespected its values, and abused the trust of his co-workers and employees, the board, the franchisees, and the shareholders.
“His argument that he should not be held responsible for even repeated bad acts is morally bankrupt and fails under the law.”McDonald’s statement
Other than Easterbrook’s behavior, McDonald’s is also looking into the company’s human-resources department and its leadership and administration, said a source familiar with the matter to CNBC.
Since April and a former Boeing executive, McDonald’s global people officer, Heidi Capozzi, asked the employees to take it upon themselves and offer, share, and speak up if they have seen or witnessed behavior and actions not following their policies.
Heidi Capozzi shared with the employees that her predecessor David Fairhurst reportedly made female employees uncomfortable and unsafe often during business functions and events. Fairhurst was fired for causes based on several internal investigations.