- McDonald’s stock is up 10% this year after hitting an all-time high in August.
- Steve Easterbrook’s exit will not lead to a change of strategy according to the incoming CEO.
- The fast-food chain prohibits even consensual relationships between executives and their juniors.
Outgoing McDonald’s (NYSE: MCD) CEO Steve Easterbrook may have paid the ultimate price for an office romance, but he has already won the hearts of investors.
During his four year stint at the fast-food chain, McDonald’s stock has nearly doubled in price. Easterbrook was appointed on March 1st, 2015. Then, the stock had opened the month at $98.92. Currently, McDonald’s stock is at $193.94, an increase of 96.6% in a period of a little over 55 months.
McDonald’s stock price chart | Source: TradingView
Easterbrook, who is exiting the company for engaging in a ‘consensual relationship with an employee’ against McDonald’s fraternization policy, also presided at a time when the company’s stock reached its all-time highs. In August the stock hit $221.93. This was an increase of about 125% from the stock’s opening price in March 2015.
Having closed 2018 at $177.57, the stock of the fast-food chain is now nearly 10% up since the year started.
Easterbrook wrote in an email to employees:
As for my departure, I engaged in a recent consensual relationship with an employee, which violated McDonald’s policy. This was a mistake.
McDonald’s sales ballooned under Steve Easterbrook
The stock growth under Easterbrook came as McDonald’s revamped menus and capital investments boosted sales. For instance, in 2016 the fast food chain introduced all-day breakfast across the United States. Under Easterbrook, McDonald’s also switched to using fresh beef patties in its quarter-pound burgers in a bid to compete with rivals such as Wendy’s.