NEW YORK: McDonald’s announced Thursday it had reached a settlement with former CEO Steve Easterbrook, retrieving $105 million of his severance package and securing an apology for his actions over his inappropriate sexual relationships with employees.
Easterbrook was dismissed in November 2019 for what the fast-food chain said were his “lies and misconduct.”
Forcing him to return cash and benefits makes it one of the largest clawbacks from a corporate executive, but the US company said he would have forfeited the payments if he had been truthful during the investigation into his relationships.
“This settlement holds Steve Easterbrook accountable for his clear misconduct, including the way in which he exploited his position as CEO,” McDonald’s Chair Enrique Hernandez, Jr., said in a statement. “The resolution avoids a protracted court process and allows us to move forward.”
The case was one of the high-profile scandals in the #MeToo that began in 2017.
McDonald’s said Easterbrook lied and destroyed information regarding inappropriate personal behavior and relationships with employees, and had provided stock worth hundreds of thousands of dollars to one of those employees.