Steve Easterbrook, former McDonald’s CEO, fights lawsuit, damages


McDonald’s CEO Steve Easterbrook was fired for having a “consensual” relationship with an worker, violating firm coverage.


Former McDonald’s CEO Steve Easterbrook is combating a lawsuit from his earlier employer.

The fast-food large filed a lawsuit in opposition to Easterbrook on Aug. 10, accusing him of partaking in sexual relationships with three staff and conspiring to maintain photographic and video proof of these relationships secret in a willful violation of the corporate’s insurance policies.

McDonald’s is looking for to power him to pay damages or to disgorge him of compensation that he retained when the corporate’s board fired him with out trigger in November.

In a current court docket submitting, nonetheless, Easterbrook’s legal professionals stated the declare that McDonald’s didn’t learn about his relationships with a number of staff when providing him a separation settlement is fake, Bloomberg reported.

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“McDonald’s – a complicated entity represented by quite a few inner and exterior consultants when it entered into the separation settlement – is conscious it can’t credibly allege a breach of contract declare,” Easterbrook’s legal professionals wrote in a submitting on Friday, based on Bloomberg. “As an alternative, it improperly seeks to fabricate claims for a breach of fiduciary obligation or fraud.”

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Easterbrook’s legal professionals additionally need the swimsuit, which was filed in Delaware’s Chancery Court docket, moved to an Illinois court docket, calling Delaware “the improper discussion board,” Bloomberg reported. The corporate is integrated in Delaware.

In an announcement to USA TODAY on Sunday, McDonald’s stated it “stands by its grievance, each the factual assertions and the court docket wherein it was filed.”

McDonald’s stated an inner investigation found “dozens of nude, partially nude or sexually specific images and movies of varied girls, together with images of those Firm staff, that Easterbrook had despatched as attachments to messages from his Firm e-mail account to his private e-mail account.”

McDonald’s alleged within the lawsuit that Easterbrook had “lied to the Firm and the Board and destroyed data relating to” his habits, which allegedly occurred in 2018 and 2019.

Easterbrook additionally accredited a inventory grant value a whole lot of hundreds of {dollars} to one of many girls “shortly after their first sexual encounter and inside days of their second,” the lawsuit stated.

Easterbrook acquired complete compensation of $55.1 million from 2017 by means of 2019, based on the corporate’s 2020 proxy assertion.


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McDonald’s new CEO, Chris Kempczinski, who was promoted to the place in November, stated in an e mail to staff that Easterbrook’s “conduct deviated from our values in several and way more intensive methods than we have been conscious when he left the corporate final yr.”

“Whereas the Board made the correct resolution to swiftly take away him from the Firm final November, this new data makes it clear that he lied and destroyed proof relating to inappropriate private habits and mustn’t have retained the contractual compensation he did upon his exit,” Kempczinski stated, noting the corporate’s litigation is to “get better the compensation he retained upon his departure from McDonald’s and align his exit payout with a ‘for trigger’ termination.”

Contributing: Nathan Bomey, USA TODAY

Comply with USA TODAY reporter Kelly Tyko on Twitter: @KellyTyko

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