The chief executive of McDonald’s has been fired after he admitted to having a relationship with an employee.
The relationship between Steve Easterbrook and the employee had been consensual, but it violated company policy and he had shown poor judgement, according to the fast-food giant.
McDonald’s board voted to sack Easterbrook on Friday after a review and will release details of his severance package on Monday.
Easterbrook admitted the relationship in his farewell email to staff, writing: "Given the values of the company, I agree with the board that it is time for me to move on.”
The Briton first worked for McDonald's in 1993 as a manager in London before leaving in 2011 to lead Pizza Express and then Wagamama, before returning to McDonald's in 2013, eventually rising to become the head of UK and northern Europe operations.
Two years later, he was appointed the chief executive of McDonald's. He will now be replaced by Chris Kempczinski, the president of McDonald's USA, with immediate effect.
McDonald’s released its quarterly earnings results last month, which fell below expectations and caused its share prices to drop 5%.
For the first time in two years, the brand's US quarterly earnings fell short of Wall Street estimates. While sales at US restaurants grew 4.8% in the third quarter, it had been expected to be closer to 5.2%. This was down from the second quarter, where sales growth was 5.7%.
While net income fell about 2%, total revenue for the quarter grew to $5.43bn.