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McDonald's fires CEO over consensual relationship with employee

Steve Easterbrook
Steve Easterbrook. Photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images

McDonald's announced Sunday that it has fired CEO Steve Easterbrook after investigating a consensual relationship he had with an unnamed employee, the Wall Street Journal reports.

The big picture: The fast-food giant did not provide details about the relationship, but Easterbrook said in an email to employees that his conduct had violated company policy. "This was a mistake," Easterbrook wrote. "Given the values of the company, I agree with the board that it is time for me to move on."

Between the lines: Ever since the #MeToo movement picked up two years ago, companies have become much more active in enforcing policies around sexual harassment and employee relationships. McDonald's personal conduct policy does not allow managers to have romantic relationships with "direct or indirect reports," according to AP.

What's next: The board of McDonald's has named Chris Kempczinski, who most recently served as president of McDonald's USA, as the company's new president and CEO.

Go deeper: Fast food's digital revolution is bringing all-time high stock prices