"Given the values of the company, I agree with the board that it is time for me to move on", Easterbrook said.
Kempczinski, who helped implement numerous recent changes as head of U.S. operations, said he would maintain Easterbrook's focus on technology as CEO and believes the company's investments will pay off.
"I engaged in a recent consensual relationship with an employee, which violated McDonald's policy". In an interview with The Wall Street Journal on Sunday, he said that he plans to maintain the course started by Easterbrook, carrying on the company's focus on and investments in new technology.
In the same statement, he said he was thrilled to be leading the company. A company spokesperson said Easterbrook's separation package will be detailed in a federal filing on Monday.
McDonald's has not shared further details of the relationship that led to the firing. In a letter responding to an inquiry from U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth, from the chain's home state of Illinois, Easterbrook told her himself the company has improved its policy and is committed "to ensuring a harassment and bias-free workplace".
McDonald's just sent its CEO packing without so much as a Happy Meal after learning he'd been banging a fellow employee - a big no-no in the trusty Golden Arches' handbook.
In June 2018, Intel Corp CEO Brian Krzanich resigned after an investigation found he had a consensual relationship with an employee that breached company policy. They accused the company of failing to prevent misconduct including groping and inappropriate comments from supervisors, as well as retaliation for speaking up.
He was appointed chief executive of McDonald's Corporation in 2015. After the chain announced a drop in USA sales as well as a 33 percent dip in global profits in the first quarter of that year, he promised a plan to "better address today's consumer needs, expectations and the competitive marketplace". (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images) Chris Kempczinski, president of McDonald's U.S., speaks at the unveiling of McDonald's new corporate headquarters during a grand opening ceremony on June 4, 2018 in Chicago, Illinois. Last year, Easterbrook - who is also on the board of Walmart - received $15.9 million in pay.
He was responsible for about 14,000 McDonald's restaurants in the US. He said it was time for him to quit the company.
Former Rep. Katie Hill would never have made it at McDonald's.
Without knowing, I'd have to guess that this whole situation became an issue within McDonald's over the weekend. Franchisees started an independent association a year ago to push back against some of Easterbrook's changes.
McDonald's, too, praised Kempczinski's contributions.
He's been replaced by Chris Kempczinski, who previously ran McDonald's US business. "I am energized by this challenge and look forward to guiding McDonald's continued success", he said.