May 16, 2022 - World

McDonald's plans to sell its Russian business

Image of a closed McDonalds in Russia.
McDonald's closed on April 14 in Belaya Dacha, outside of Moscow. Photo: Getty Images

McDonald's said Monday it plans to sell its business in Russia after more than 30 years of operation in the country.

Driving the news: "The humanitarian crisis caused by the war in Ukraine, and the precipitating unpredictable operating environment, have led McDonald’s to conclude that continued ownership of the business in Russia is no longer tenable, nor is it consistent with McDonald’s values," the company said in a statement.

  • McDonald's said that it plans to sell its business to a local buyer.
  • The company will seek to "ensure the employees of McDonald's Russia continue to be paid until the close of any transaction and that employees have future employment with any potential buyer," per the statement.
  • The chain will begin the process of "de-Arching" its Russian restaurants, which means removing the McDonald’s name, logo, branding and menu. McDonald's will keep its trademarks in Russia, the company said.

The big picture: McDonald's in March announced that it was closing all of its stores in Russia over President Vladimir Putin's invasion of Ukraine.

  • The chain was the latest in a long list of global companies and businesses that suspended their operations in Russia to condemn the invasion.
  • McDonald's opened its first store in Moscow shortly after the fall of the Berlin Wall and would become a symbol of globalism and the easing of Cold War tensions, AP reports.
  • McDonald’s was the first American fast-food restaurant to open in the Soviet Union, per AP.

What they're saying: "We're exceptionally proud of the 62,000 employees who work in our restaurants, along with the hundreds of Russian suppliers who support our business, and our local franchisees," CEO Chris Kempczinski said in a statement.

  • "However, we have a commitment to our global community and must remain steadfast in our values. And our commitment to our values means that we can no longer keep the Arches shining there."

Go deeper ... Which global companies are abandoning Russia, and why

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