In case you missed it, McDonald’s recently claimed CEO Steve Easterbrook had sexual relationships with three underlings that it hadn’t known about when it negotiated a package worth a reported $42 million over an inappropriate relationship, alleging he had “lied” and “concealed evidence” about the affairs.
The evidence includes dozens of naked or explicit photos and videos of women — some of them Easterbrook’s subordinates at McDonald’s — that he allegedly sent in attachments to his personal email account from his work email account.
McDonald’s used the finding to start the proceedings to recover and/or block the severance package it had negotiated with Easterbrook. At the time of the agreement, McDonald’s simply thought it was terming Easterbrook for a consensual relationship with an underling. A July tip by an employee opened the investigation back up, and here we are.
Which begs the following question – isn’t a hard scrub of an executive’s email a standard procedure to ensure you’re getting all the bad stuff out of the way before you hand over a package of $42M?
Easterbrook thinks so and has fired back at the fast-food giant’s allegations that he lied about his habit of sexting with multiple employees, claiming that the company should have known about the issue when it handed him a fat severance package last year.
Of course, that statement doesn’t sound like he told them, right?
We discuss it all as our second topic on this week’s HR Famous Podcast, see the player below and the timestamps to give it a listen.
And when you’re making a move on an executive, ask IT to do a search for all *jpeg, *png and *mov files that were forwarded to an outside account from that individual’s work email. Geez.
In episode 27 of The HR Famous Podcast, long-time HR leaders (and friends) Tim Sackett, Kris Dunn and Jessica Lee discuss JLee’s knowledge on the best flowers, the crew gives theories on why meeting times have decreased during the pandemic (but the number of meetings is up), and workplace relationship issues that have reemerged surrounding former McDonald’s CEO Steve Easterbrook (McLovin from episode 2 of HR Famous) are covered.
4:40 – Tim got some flowers for his wife and tried to share the great deal with the HR Famous crew and Jlee had to kindly reject (she doesn’t like roses!) and KD had bought flowers for his wife 30 minutes prior to Tim’s text. Jlee also implores her vast knowledge of flowers onto the men of the group.
26:30 – Final topic of the day – the former CEO of McDonald’s Steve Easterbrook was let go in 2019 with a $40 million severance package and now McDonald’s is suing Easterbrook because they have found explicit pictures he exchanged with several other former employees in addition to the single relationship he was previously removed for.
28:30 – Jlee is disappointed because she is a McDonald’s alum. She points out that at the time, the board of directors thought he was being forced out without cause and therefore, he got a big sum of money upon his dismissal.
29:45 – KD thinks McDonald’s will seek out all of the impacted parties and try to settle with all of them. Also, he thinks the company will have to conduct a big investigation and find everything that happened with Easterbrook and his misconduct.
33:00 – Tim thinks McDonald’s will want to negotiate all of the dealings behind closed doors. He also thinks the company didn’t do their due diligence when Easterbrook was leaving and tried to push him out too quickly.
Kris Dunn is a Partner and CHRO at Kinetix, a national RPO firm for growth companies headquartered in Atlanta. He’s also the founder Fistful of Talent (founded in 2008) and The HR Capitalist (2007) – and has written over 70 feature columns at Workforce Management magazine. Prior to his investment at Kinetix, Kris served in HR leadership roles at DAXKO, Charter and Cingular. In his spare time, KD hits the road as a speaker and gives the world what it needs – pop culture references linked to Human Capital street smarts.