McD’s in­ter­nal in­ves­ti­ga­tion ex­tends be­yond ousted CEO

Chicago Sun-Times - - BUSINESS - BY DEE-ANN DURBIN AP Busi­ness Writer

An in­ter­nal in­ves­ti­ga­tion by McDon­ald’s of po­ten­tial mis­con­duct has ex­tended be­yond its for­mer CEO who was forced out late last year.

McDon­ald’s board of di­rec­tors has hired an out­side law firm as part of a probe into its hu­man re­sources de­part­ment to de­ter­mine if Steve Easter­brook, who ex­ited abruptly in Novem­ber, cov­ered up mis­con­duct for oth­ers in that de­part­ment.

The com­pany didn’t share de­tails about the al­le­ga­tions. On Wed­nes­day, how­ever, The Wall Street Jour­nal re­ported that McDon­ald’s con­ducted an in­ter­nal in­ves­ti­ga­tion in 2018 af­ter em­ploy­ees com­plained about in­ap­pro­pri­ate phys­i­cal con­tact be­tween the com­pany’s top HR ex­ec­u­tive, David Fairhurst, and a sub­or­di­nate at a hol­i­day party.

Af­ter Easter­brook be­came McDon­ald’s CEO in 2015 he named Fairhurst, a friend, to lead the hu­man re­source de­part­ment.

Fairhurst de­parted around the same time as Easter­brook, but the Chicago com­pany said his de­par­ture was un­re­lated. It now says he was fired.

Em­ploy­ees in hu­man re­sources also told McDon­ald’s le­gal de­part­ment that they felt passed over for ad­vance­ment op­por­tu­ni­ties be­cause they weren’t part of an af­ter-hours so­cial cir­cle among the lead­ers of that de­part­ment, the Jour­nal re­ported.

McDon­ald’s fired Easter­brook last year af­ter he ad­mit­ted to send­ing ex­plicit text mes­sages to an em­ployee. He left with a huge sev­er­ance pack­age in­tact be­cause while it was against com­pany rules, the in­ter­ac­tions he had with the em­ployee were con­sen­sual.

McDon­ald’s named Heidi Capozzi, who had worked for Boe­ing, as hu­man re­sources chief in March. Capozzi is con­duct­ing a re­view of the de­part­ment, in­clud­ing how per­for­mance is eval­u­ated and how em­ployee con­cerns are raised and in­ves­ti­gated.

Steve Easter­brook

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.