Dec 16, 2021 - Economy & Business

McDonald's reclaims $105M from ex-CEO after sexual misconduct cover-up

Photo of Steve Easterbrook speaking from a podium with a giant McDonald's logo behind him

Former McDonald’s CEO Steve Easterbrook. Photo: Joshua Lott/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Former McDonald’s CEO Steve Easterbrook is relinquishing more than $105 million after a sexual misconduct cover-up — one of the largest-ever clawbacks of executive compensation.

The big picture: The settlement comes as the SEC is pressing corporations to pursue the pay of executives who misbehave.

Catch up quick: McDonald’s accused Easterbrook of having sexual relationships with several employees and deleting explicit photos and videos that proved it.

  • Easterbrook apologized Thursday, saying he "failed at times to uphold McDonald’s values and fulfill certain of my responsibilities."

What they’re saying: McD’s chair Rick Hernandez told workers in an internal memo reviewed by Axios that "Steve’s misconduct need not be forgiven."

The bottom line: "It’s really important for many of these companies now to make sure the environment they set for employees is comfortable, professional and appropriate," Peter Jaworski, a professor of business ethics at Georgetown University, tells Axios.

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