McDonald's Corporation dropped a press release on Sunday afternoon detailing it had fired Chief Executive Officer Steve Easterbrook for having a consensual relationship with an employee.
Easterbrook "violated company policy and demonstrated poor judgment involving a recent consensual relationship with an employee," the release stated.
McDonald's said Sunday that its board voted Friday to terminate Easterbrook over the "consensual relationship," indicating that he violated company policy on personal conduct.
Chris Kempczinski, most recently President of McDonald's USA, was voted by the board to succeed Easterbrook. Easterbrook has also been removed from the board.
Easterbrook emailed employees after his hiring and said: "I engaged in a recent consensual relationship with an employee, which violated McDonald's policy. This was a mistake. Given the values of the company, I agree with the board that it is time for me to move on. Beyond this, I hope you can respect my desire to maintain my privacy."
Easterbrook took the reins as CEO in 2015, during his tenure, traffic volumes in the North American segment have slumped.
McDonald's tumbled last week when Q3 earnings missed on the top and bottom line, while US comp sales disappointed lofty expectations.
McDonald's stock has more than doubled over the last five years as fundamentals have worsened.