McDonald's Global HR head resigns following CEO Steve Easterbrook's departure


Everything isn't right at McDonald's. The fast food giant on Monday announced that its global chief people officer David Fairhurst too has left the company with following the firing of its chief operating officer Steve Easterbrook. Steve Easterbrook was fired over the weekend by the fast food giant's board citing reasons that he violated the company policy by having "consensual relationship with an employee".

Fairhurst's departure comes a day after Easterbrook's firing. However, McDonald's declined to comment further on Fairhurst's exit from the company saying that it was against the company's policy to share its internal policy details or disclose personal matters. His resignation comes in the wake of the restaurant chain's employees demanding for higher wages and better protection against sexual harassment at workplace.

Fairhurst's departure was announced via an internal memo that was signed by the company's new CEO Chris Kempczinksi, who replaced Easterbrook after his ouster. As of now Kempczinksi will also be looking into Fairhurst's role till the company takes further decision. On the other hand, one of the senior vice presidents, Mason Smoot, will take Easterbrook's place on an interim basis. Smoot had also served as Easterbrook's chief of staff.

Fairhurst's association with McDonald's goes back more than a decade and a half back. He joined the company in 2005 although he was appointed the global chief people office only in 2015. Prior to that, he was the chief people officer for McDonald's European region. Interestingly, Fairhurst's appointment as chief people officer happened only few days after Easterbrook took over as the CEO. The two back to back departures saw McDonald's shares taking a massive hit on Monday.

Easterbrook, who is a divorcee, was believed to have played a significant role in overhauling McDonald by using AI and eco-friendly policies. Fairhurst's departure is being viewed as a direct consequence of Easterbrook's firing as the HR department has time and again been accused of failing to have prevented sexual harassment at workplace.

Moreover, McDonald's has been having pay dispute with its employees for a long time now. The employees have been long demanding $15 minimum wage across the country, which too could be a possible reason behind Fairhurst's departure. The company has been having a tough time of late. It also saw the departure of its global Chief Marketing Officer Silvia Lagnado and Chief Communications Officer Robert Gibbs last month.