McDonald’s new CEO is tapping into his background as a Catholic family man to change the company's culture after the ouster of former CEO Steve Easterbook in November over an inappropriate relationship with an employee.
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CEO Chris Kempczinski stressed the importance of McDonald's core values as "the bedrock of our company" in a New Year's letter to employees obtained by FOX Business on Monday.
"We must now champion and apply them more evenly across the three-legged stool to be even stronger," said Kempczinski, who immediately took over from Easterbrook.
McDonald's leadership has been described as a boys' club that sanctioned partying and employees of all ranks drinking together, according to The Wall Street Journal.
"One of the things that I do is I have to uphold the values, but I have to be able to look at every single one of my senior leadership team members and say, do I believe that they personify the values of our company that we need to be?" Kempczinski said at a company town hall in November. "And if they don't, they're not on the senior leadership team."
"This is a people business and it's really about all of you. It's about the values that we hold dear. It's about how we conduct ourselves," he said.
Easterbrook was eligible for a half year of severance paid at the end of the six-month period after he was pushed out of the company for violating its policy by having a consensual relationship with a coworker.
Though no dollar amount was officially provided, Easterbrook's 26-week compensation is estimated to be approximately $675,000, based on last year's salary, but will also depend largely on how the fast-food company's stock performs.
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FOX Business' Grady Trimble and Stephanie Pagones contributed to this report.