McDonalds fires CEO over relationship with employee

Originally published at:


:heavy_dollar_sign: Grudgingly accepts severance, walks off into sunset with new love.


Robble robble


So ostensibly we have come to the point where no one can date anyone that works at the same place as them.


that seems to be the moral consensus for power under over situations. many companies have responsible disclosure processes, that people can apply to for exception. this is a good thing, no?


The power differential is a big problem. Most companies even ban you from dating a co-equal colleague, unless it’s handled properly. To date a member of management creates a threatening position for the employee, and creates mistrust and resentment among the rest of the staff.

That said, my wife and I have worked together for about ten years now. She technically outranks me, too. In the past it has created problems that spill from regular life to work life and vice versa. It forces me to recognize that there’s really just life. I would not give up any part of it.

ETA: of course there are just the two of us, so take my experience with the skepticism it deserves.


I wonder which ranks higher, a golden (fries) parachute, or a Fry Guy parachute?



I wouldn’t date one of my direct reports. But my company has 4700 employees, many of which I have no reason to even interact with from a corporate perspective. I doubt they’d care in that instance, which, IMHO, is probably the right level of “concern” for them to have.


That’s kind of the thing right? Should two people date when they are directly supervisor and associate. No. Even if it’s within a couple levels of “rank” it’s not something that should be done.

But there is a point where the divide becomes great enough that so long as it is willingly consensual, there shouldn’t be anything inherently wrong with it. Especially if it is disclosed.

I met me wife on the job. We were the same level in different departments. I just want to see common sense applied.


In the real world, common sense (or at least disinterest in rules-enforcement and the general human inclination toward getting along) means that workplace romances are mostly not a problem when there isn’t an obvious power differential.

But the thing is, it’s Thin Ice. Anything goes wrong, you’re fucked.


Technically speaking if everything goes right you’re fucked too. :grin:


having the rules in place is so that you can enforce them when needed, especially when the breakers are often the boss men, it really is necessary.

i think people are pretty reasonable at most companies. even so having a falling out under those conditions can have consequences and be complicated, it is a tricky. responsible disclosure processes at least keep everything out in the open so that things can stay as okay as possible.

up/down, no. anyone that much higher up in a company really should be even more accountable. seperate parts of a company, that seems mostly okay.

i think it mostly about keeping people safe.


As CEO there are probably not many positions that the power imbalance would not be a problem with the relationship. I think the common sense thing is different for CEO vs most of the rest of the hierarchy.


I mean, as CEO basically everybody reports up to you. You don’t get much more of a power imbalance than that.


CEOs shouldn’t date employees.

(And fast food corporations shouldn’t burn down rain forests.)


And if they came to realize they wanted a relationship more than a co-working relationship, one of them could have just quit beforehand. That would have been a simple solution. But that’s 20/20 hindsight.


It’s been stated by both him and the company that this relationship was against pre-existing policy. The CEO of McDonalds and literally any other employee would have a tremendous perceived (by the junior if not by other employees) and actual power imbalance that would be exacerbated by the sheer level of business they’re operating at. This is not you having a meetcute with your future wife. This is the CEO of a huge global household name going against explicit board policy, somebody finding out/leaking The Thing That Happened, and The Thing That Happened being bad enough to replace an objectively successful CEO as quickly as possible.

The basic lapse in judgement should be enough for the board to axe him even without a vague situation that requires the liberal shouting of the word ‘consensual’ being thrown around to ward off any icky questions. Common sense is absolutely being applied.


Thanks for the recap

Thou shalt not comfort thy rod with thy staff.