McDonald’s HR Chief People Officer David Fairhurst departed from the Company: David Wiki, Bio, Age, Net Worth, Career, Personal Life and Fast Facts Need to Know

David Fairhurst Biography

Former Exec VP/Chief People Officer, Mcdonald’s Corp David Fairhurst is 51 Years Old. Wigan-born HR executive David Fairhurst was brought to Chicago in 2015 by sacked CEO Steve Easterbrook but left the company’s $250million HQ with immediate effect.

Mr. Fairhurst, who lives in Illinois with his second wife and their two young sons, said on LinkedIn: ‘I have decided the time has come for me to move on to my next career challenge.’

David Fairhurst Career Ended

The clear-out of Britons running McDonald’s in the US has ramped up as the right-hand man of the UK-born boss fired over an affair at work also departed suddenly.

No reasons were given for the departure of 51-year-old Mr. Fairhurst, who grew up in the north-west and relocated to the US under Mr Easterbrook as both men rose through the company’s ranks.

He announced his departure after the fast-food giant fired its Watford-born chief executive Steve Easterbrook over his consensual sexual relationship with an employee – a sackable offense at the world’s largest fast-food chain.

The identity of the other person remained shrouded in mystery last night as the Watford-born high-flyer lined up PR teams on both sides of the Atlantic, including a crisis management lawyer in the US who specializes in ‘celebrity disgrace events’.

His family is in the dark about the circumstances behind his sacking.

Mr. Easterbrook’s brother-in-law Mark Baxter, 55, who is married to his sister Joanne, told MailOnline yesterday: ‘[It] looks like Steve has been a naughty boy.

‘We heard on Sunday that he had been fired. We don’t know any other details.’

Mr. Easterbrook was dismissed swiftly by the McDonald’s board as his ‘recent consensual relationship’ came to light.

The divorced father-of-three then sent an email to all staff admitting that his behavior fell short of the standards expected.

He wrote: ‘Given the values of the company, I agree with the board that it is the time to move on.’

The love life of the man who grew from branch manager to company chief rocked the global fast-food giant, wiping £3.4billion off its market value yesterday.

Mr. Easterbrook, who earned £12.3million in pay and perks last year, leaves the company with six months of his basic salary, worth around £520,000.

But according to filings submitted in the US yesterday, his contract was deemed to have been terminated ‘without a cause’.

This means he remains eligible for previous bonuses due to pay out over the next three years. So if McDonald’s hits its yearly targets, he is the line to receive a bonus worth between £1.8million and £3.7million.

Company filings also show he had amassed 122,986 shares from previous bonuses by the end of last year – worth around £17.8million at today’s prices. It is not clear when those shares are due to pay out or how many have paid out already.

As part of the deal, Mr. Easterbrook has signed a gagging order agreeing not to say anything that ‘disparages or damages’ McDonald’s reputation. He is also banned from working for a rival, such as Burger King or KFC, for the next two years.

Bob Goldin, head of the Chicago-based food industry consultancy Pentallec, said: ‘As I understand, the board found out on Friday morning and it was all done within 24 hours.

‘Normally executives argue about the length of the non-compete clause and two years is a very long time for that.’ The scandal marks the end of Mr. Easterbrook’s successful spell of almost five years in charge of the company, during which he almost doubled its market value.

McDonald’s policy bans management staff from having relationships with those who report to them. Stephen Woodhouse, of Stephensons Solicitors LLP, said: ‘McDonald’s stance does appear to be a strict one but as we know very little about the other individual, we are not a party to all factors in the decision.’

Desiree Moore, a US lawyer representing Mr. Easterbrook, said he was ‘deeply grateful for his time at McDonald’s’.

Mr Easterbrook is thought to have divorced from his wife Susie around the time he moved to Chicago in 2013 as a senior executive at the firm’s headquarters.

Mr Fairhurst first joined McDonald’s in 2005. He had worked with Easterbrook for McDonald’s in the U.K. and was promoted to the top human-resources job soon after Easterbrook became CEO in 2015, according to the Wall Street Journal.

His departure was announced in an internal memo sent Monday by newly minted CEO Chris Kempczinski, who assumed Easterbrook’s role.

Prior to his role as Chief People Officer, he worked at McDonald’s as Chief People Officer for its European business.

Other recent executive departures include McDonald’s global Marketing Office Silvia Lagnado and Chief Communications Officer Robert Gibbs, both of whom left last month.

Fairhurst’s sudden departure comes as the burger joint has faced scrutiny for Easterbrook’s firing in addition to public concerns over labor issues.

Mason Smoot, a senior vice president who oversees strategic alignment and staff, has replaced Fairhurst on an interim basis, according to Bloomberg.

The company announced Sunday that chief executive Steve Easterbrook was ousted from the company after four years as CEO following a ‘consensual relationship’ with an employee that violated company policy.

Nonfraternization policies do not allow relationships between managers and employees who directly or indirectly report to them.

The board met on Friday and voted to fire Easterbrook after an investigation of his relationship with the unnamed employee, the company said.

Easterbrook acknowledged he had a relationship with an unnamed employee in an email to staff, calling it a ‘mistake’.

Easterbrook, who is from Watford, United Kingdom and has three children, is recently divorced.

He joined McDonald’s in 1993 as a financial reporting manager in London and went on to become the executive in charge of all McDonald’s in the southern UK and eventually became a chief executive officer in March 2015.

‘Given the values of the company, I agree with the board that it is time for me to move on,’ he wrote in a memo to staff.  Details about his relationship have not been disclosed.

‘Easterbrook… has separated from the company following the board’s determination that he violated company policy and demonstrated poor judgment involving a recent consensual relationship with an employee,’ the company said in a statement.

Easterbrook’s separation agreement includes six months’ severance pay, plus stock options that are currently vested or would become vested within three years. Options that are not exercisable within that period will be forfeited, according to a US securities filing.

Easterbrook agreed to release any claims against the company and to not work for two years for a lengthy list of competitors that includes Burger King, Chick-fil-A, Starbucks and Pizza Hut.

In 2018, Easterbrook’s base pay was $1.3 million and his total compensation including bonus and stock options was $15.9 million.

Following Easterbrook’s departure his brother in law Farmer Mark Baxter, 55, who is married to Easterbrook’s sister Joanne said: ‘Looks like Steve has been a naughty boy. We heard on Sunday that he had been fired. We don’t know any other details. My wife keeps in contact but we have not seen him for a while’.

Mark, who owns a 400-acre farm near Berkhamsted in Hertfordshire, said Easterbrook was divorced from wife Susie at around the time he moved to America to become McDonald’s CEO in 2015.

Their three daughters remained with their mother Susie, a part-time estate agent and former training boss at PwC in the UK.

A note from Morningstar praised Easterbrook’s successor, Chris Kempczinski, who joined McDonald’s in October 2015 after working in a senior strategic role at Kraft Foods and previously at PepsiCo.

Kempczinski, who became head of McDonald’s USA in 2017, helped promote digital technology and home delivery, Morningstar said.

McDonald’s said Monday that it set Kempczinski’s base salary at $1.25 million. Easterbrook’s base salary last year was $1.35 million.

McDonald’s shares tumbled 2.9 percent to $188.25 in afternoon trading.

McDonald’s lost $4 billion in value overnight after the fast-food giant fired Easterbrook, causing shares to slide as much as 3% on Monday. Shares were trading at about $188 by early afternoon, down 3.11 percent.

The $4 billion drops in value (at intraday lows) comes off a market capitalization of about $147.3 billion from Friday’s close, reports MarketInsider.

It was a dramatic turn for investors, who saw their shares in the fast-food giant more than double after Easterbrook took the helm in 2015.

McDonald’s shares, which were up 9.2 percent this year, gained 96 percent under Easterbrook’s leadership.

Keypoints of the News

  • Chief People Officer David Fairhurst departed from the company on Monday
  • 24 hours earlier British CEO Steve Easterbrook was ousted over workplace affair
  • Fairhurst relocated to the US under Mr. Easterbrook as both men rose through ranks 


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