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Ex-McDonald’s CEO Subject to Claw Back


Steve Easterbrook, formerly CEO of McDonald’s Corp., fired in 2019, has agreed to return $52.7 million to his former employer.  According to a Federal Securities and Exchange Commission announcement, Easterbrook will also pay a $400,000 civil penalty and will be barred for serving as an officer or director of any U.S. company for a five-year period.


When he departed from McDonald’s Corp., he was awarded a financial package of $105 million.  Subsequent investigations disclosed a series of affairs with McDonald’s employees contrary to company policy.  His dismissal without cause was revoked and he returned half of the severance package since the SEC determined that Easterbrook was in violation of both the Securities Act of 1933 and the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 by lying to the Board. His activities resulted in the Agency responding with the directive and fine.


McDonald’s Corp. apparently violated Section 14 (a) of the Exchange Act through not issuing a proxy statement, but this matter was condoned by the SEC, based on the cooperation of the Company.


In a January 9th statement, McDonald’s Corporation announced the agreement with the SEC concerning disclosures relating to the termination of Easterbrook.  Had he been forthcoming in relation to his activities while CEO, he would have been terminated for cause and would have forfeited $105 million severance package.


The company statement noted, “We continue to ensure our values a part of everything we do and we are proud of our strong “speak up” culture that encourages employees to report conduct by any employee, including the CEO, that falls short of our expectations.”