Fired McDonald\’s CEO returns $105M to the burger chain

Former McDonald’s CEO Steve Easterbrook has returned $105 million in equity awards and cash to the company.

The money in settlement of a lawsuit that the fast-food titan had brought against its ex-chief over what it calls “his misconduct, lies, and efforts to impede investigations into his actions.”

Easterbrook has also apologized. He was fired in 2019 for having a relationship with an employee, violating company policy. He’s said that it happened only once, but McDonald’s learned that that wasn’t true and filed a lawsuit against him.

“McDonald’s and its Board of Directors value doing the right thing and putting customers and people first,” Easterbrook said in a written statement. “During my tenure as CEO, I failed at times to uphold McDonald’s values and fulfill certain of my responsibilities as a leader of the company. I apologize to my former co-workers, the Board, and the company’s franchisees and suppliers for doing so.”

Chris Kempczinski is the current CEO of McDonald’s.

“This settlement holds Steve Easterbrook accountable for his clear misconduct, including the way in which he exploited his position as CEO,” board chairman Enrique Hernandez, Jr. said. “The resolution avoids a protracted court process and allows us to move forward. It also affirms the Board’s initial judgment to pursue this case. ”