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Adhering to Our Values

August 10, 2020
chris k photo

This note was originally sent as an email to the McDonald's System on August 10.

When I was first introduced to you as the CEO of McDonald’s last fall, I talked about the importance of adhering to our values. As we have reiterated over the past few weeks, we are committed to those values, including continuing to strengthen our culture and maintain an environment in which members of the McDonald’s System are encouraged to and comfortable with coming forward with information about any behavior that doesn’t align with our values. 

We recently became aware through an employee report of new information regarding the conduct of our former CEO, Steve Easterbrook. We now know that his conduct deviated from our values in different and far more extensive ways than we were aware when he left the company last year. While the Board made the right decision to swiftly remove him from the Company last November, this new information makes it clear that he lied and destroyed evidence regarding inappropriate personal behavior and should not have retained the contractual compensation he did upon his exit. As such, the Company, at the direction of the Board of Directors, has filed litigation to recover the compensation he retained upon his departure from McDonald’s and align his exit payout with a “for cause” termination.

McDonald’s does not tolerate behavior from any employee that does not reflect our values. These actions reflect a continued demonstration of this commitment. 

As we recommit to our values, now, more than ever, is the time to lean in to what we stand for and act as a positive force for change. That includes working together to enhance our culture by continuing to do the things we do well while developing solutions for how we can improve.  

With that in mind, I am proud of the work that Heidi Capozzi, our recently appointed Chief People Officer, has been leading to identify more opportunities to support our employees, customers, and suppliers. This is important work that impacts all of us and I’m committed to continuing to make progress going forward. 

Our top priority remains our people and our efforts to support all parts of the System during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond. Thank you for your ongoing and unwavering commitment. 

Chris