Jan 9, 2023 - Economy & Business

SEC fines ex-McDonald's CEO for misrepresenting his termination

 Steve Easterbrook, chief executive officer of McDonald's Corp., speaks during the opening of the company's new headquarters in Chicago, Illinois, U.S., on Monday, June 4, 2018.

Steve Easterbrook speaks during the opening of tMcDonald's new headquarters in Chicago on June 4, 2018. Photo: Joshua Lott/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The former CEO of McDonald's was charged Monday with making false and misleading statements to investors about the circumstances that led to his termination in 2019.

Driving the news: Stephen Easterbrook, without admitting or denying the Securities and Exchange Commission's findings, agreed to pay $400,000 over the allegations that he misrepresented the cause behind his termination, the SEC said.

  • Easterbrook also agreed to a five-year ban from serving as an officer or director.
  • A representative for Easterbrook did not immediately respond to Axios' request for comment.

Catch up quick: Easterbrook was fired for having an "inappropriate personal relationship with a McDonald’s employee in violation of company policy," per the SEC.

What they're saying: "When corporate officers corrupt internal processes to manage their personal reputations or line their own pockets, they breach their fundamental duties to shareholders, who are entitled to transparency and fair dealing from executives," said Gurbir S. Grewal, the director of the SEC's Division of Enforcement.

  • "By allegedly concealing the extent of his misconduct during the company’s internal investigation, Easterbrook broke that trust with — and ultimately misled — shareholders," Grewal said.
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