McDonald’s successfully resolves lawsuit against Steve Easterbrook; former CEO returns equity awards and cash with a value of over $105 million to the Company

December 16, 2021

CHICAGO, IL –   McDonald’s Corporation (NYSE: MCD) (“McDonald’s” or “the Company”) today announced that the Board of Directors (“the Board”) has approved a settlement resolving the lawsuit the Company brought against its former President and Chief Executive Officer Steve Easterbrook over his misconduct, lies, and efforts to impede investigations into his actions. Under the settlement, Mr. Easterbrook has returned equity awards and cash, with a current value of over $105 million, which he would have forfeited had he been truthful at the time of his termination and, as a result, been terminated for cause.

Easterbrook has also apologized to the Company, the Board and the broader McDonald’s community for failing to uphold McDonald’s values and fulfill his responsibility as a leader of the Company. In turn, the Company will dismiss its action against him with prejudice. 

“This settlement holds Steve Easterbrook accountable for his clear misconduct, including the way in which he exploited his position as CEO,” said Enrique Hernandez, Jr., Chairman of the Board of Directors of McDonald’s Corporation. “The resolution avoids a protracted court process and allows us to move forward. It also affirms the Board’s initial judgment to pursue this case. With this settlement, Company employees, management and the Board can continue to focus their attention on the growth of the business and building community both inside and outside the System.”

Mr. Easterbrook said: “McDonald's and its Board of Directors value doing the right thing and putting customers and people first. During my tenure as CEO, I failed at times to uphold McDonald’s values and fulfill certain of my responsibilities as a leader of the company. I apologize to my former co-workers, the Board, and the company’s franchisees and suppliers for doing so.”   

McDonald’s has continued to ensure its values are part of everything the Company does. 

Recognizing its scale and resulting influence, McDonald’s will continue to promote safe and respectful workplaces. McDonald’s is implementing mandatory and industry-leading Global Brand Standards for safe, respectful and inclusive workplaces, which require all 39,000 McDonald’s restaurants to adhere to these new standards. 


McDonald's is the world's leading global foodservice retailer with over 39,000 locations in over 100 countries. Approximately 93% of McDonald's restaurants worldwide are owned and operated by independent local business owners.


This release contains certain forward-looking statements, which reflect management's expectations regarding future events and operating performance and speak only as of the date hereof. These forward-looking statements involve a number of risks and uncertainties. The factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from our expectations are detailed in the Company's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, such as its annual and quarterly reports and current reports on Form 8-K. The Company undertakes no obligation to update such forward-looking statements, except as may otherwise be required by law.

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