McDonald’s has sued former CEO Steve Easterbrook, claiming he “concealed evidence and lied” about his alleged sexual relationships with three employees before it fired him for “engaging in an inappropriate relationship” with another staffer, according to the fast-feeder’s Aug. 10 Securities and Exchange Commission filing.
In firing Easterbrook on Nov. 1, the board determined that his relationship with a subordinate demonstrated poor judgment that disqualified him from continuing to lead the company.
The board negotiated a separation agreement that said the termination was “without cause,” which entitled Easterbrook to receive severance benefits.
McDonald says it recently learned that Easterbrook allegedly had physical sexual relationships with three other workers a year before it fired him and that he “approved an extraordinary stock grant, worth hundreds of thousands of dollars, for one of those employees in the midst of their sexual relationship.”
The company says if Easterbrook had been candid about those relationships, it would not have terminated him “without cause.”
Accordingly, “McDonald’s brings this action to redress the injuries it has suffered by virtue of Easterbrook’s fiduciary breaches and deceit," according to the SEC filing.
It asks the Delaware court of chancery to order the rescission of the separation agreement and direct Easterbrook to return all cash and stock awards granted pursuant to the said agreement; and for such other, further and different relief as the Court may deem just and proper.