The company said in a release that the board determined Easterbrook “demonstrated poor judgment” by engaging in the relationship, which is against the company’s policy.
Steve Easterbrook in an email to McDonald’s staff wrote:
“I engaged in a recent consensual relationship with an employee, which violated McDonald’s policy. This was a mistake. Given the values of the company, I agree with the board that it is time for me to move on. Beyond this, I hope you can respect my desire to maintain my privacy.”
The fast-food company has appointed Chris Kempczinski to the role of chief executive and president. He was previously president of McDonald’s US business.
McDonald’s has invested heavily in home delivery and mobile pay initiatives in recent years, and in 2019 has unveiled a number of acquisitions to boost its drive-through operation.