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.
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.