McDonald’s Serves Up Social Responsibility With CEO’s Firing: Expert

Nancy Harty
November 04, 2019 - 8:11 pm

(Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

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CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) – The decision by McDonald’s to fire its CEO over a relationship with another employee is a sign of changes in corporate governance in the #MeToo era, according to one expert.

Loyola University Quinlan School of Business Professor Seth Green says the move by the board of directors to fire CEO Steve Easterbrook shows social responsibility is becoming as important to companies as their responsibility to shareholders.

Green gives the fast-food giant credit for applying the same standards to the CEO as it would any other employee.

The #MeToo movement has elevated the issue of relationships -- even consensual ones like Easterbrook's -- to a level that they cannot be ignored, Green says.

There are still many questions about inter-office romances that Green says don't have clear answers, such as: Are any relationships allowed and what's the role of Human Resources staffers in reporting them?

He speculates the departure of McDonald's Chief People Officer David Fairhurst may be related to not sharing information about Easterbrook's relationship with the board.