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McDonald's CEO Firing: Management Expert, Asset Manager On What It Means For Investors

McDonald's CEO Firing: Management Expert, Asset Manager On What It Means For Investors

McDonald's Corp (NYSE: MCD) CEO Steve Easterbrook is the latest high-ranking executive to be fired for misconduct, according to Yale School of Management's Jeff Sonnenfeld.

Sonnenfeld: No Need For Interim CEO

Among the roughly 90 CEOs who were terminated or resigned last year, 40% were fired for misconduct, including improper relationships, Sonnenfeld said on CNBC.

In Easterbrook's case, although the relationship was consensual, it is still "really a shame," Sonnenfeld said. 

On the positive side, the McDonald's board of directors has a reputation of being prepared for "unexpected" events, he said. The restaurant chain had seven CEOs in less than 15 years; two of the CEO transitions were the result of unexpected deaths, Sonnenfeld said. 

"Most companies go to an interim [CEO] in a time like this," Sonnenfeld said. "But Chris Kempczinski is in there as the full-time president and CEO."

Seymour: 'Strange Day' For Investors

Monday could prove to be a "strange day" for McDonald's investors given the importance of Easterbrook to the company, Seymour Asset Management's Tim Seymour said on CNBC's "Worlwide Exchange.

Easterbrook was responsible for technical advancements, menu innovation and introducing healthier options at a time when consumers are shying away from unhealthy food, Seymour said. 

Yet the leadership of Kempczinski is likely to represent a continuity of the fast food chain's existing strategy, he said.

"I don't think you run away from this stock and I think you are looking at an opportunity to be buying weakness," Seymour said. "Steve Easterbrook was important, but McDonald's is an iconic brand."

The stock was down 2.69% at $188.72 at the time of publication. 

Related Links:

Steve Easterbrook Out As McDonald's CEO Amid Relationship With Employee

McDonald's Q1 Earnings Beat Lifts Stock


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