Forget the McRib… with a golden parachute like this he can afford a McSteak.
Former McDonald’s CEO Steve Easterbrook stands to pocket $70 million worth of stocks and options as part of being ousted from the company over a consensual relationship with an employee, CBS News reported Tuesday.
The eight-figure payout would come despite the fast-food giant acknowledging Sunday that the 52-year-old Easterbrook “violated company policy” and “demonstrated poor judgment” by engaging in an affair with a staffer.
On top of that, the former burger bigwig will be getting a cash severance of $700,000, or six months pay.
“No way this is what you would do if the board wanted to send the message that this type of behavior at McDonald’s is not acceptable,” veteran pay consultant Brian Foley told the outlet.
“It’s a slap on the wrist.”
The restricted stock and options could rise or fall in value over the next three years, depending on how the company fares. If it hits certain financial targets over that period, Easterbrook’s pot of gold could grow to $85 million, according to the outlet.
McDonald’s board of directors decided to label Easterbrook’s forced exit as “without cause” — meaning he was able to keep many of his stock options.
If he’d been fired for “cause” he wouldn’t have cashed in on the severance or the restricted stock and options, the outlet said.
The company’s severance policy for execs defines a for “cause” termination as when there is: “a material violation of McDonald’s standards of business conduct or other employment policies.”
Managers are forbidden from engaging in romantic relationships with employees under the corporation’s policy.
McDonald’s declined to comment to CBS News.
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