The British head of global human resources at McDonald’s has been sacked for making the women in the company “uncomfortable”, according to the allegations.
David Fairhurst, who was promoted to McDonald’s ‘human resources manager’ in 2015 by fellow Briton Steve Easterbrook, was suddenly sacked last year after Easterbrook was also fired for having a relationship with at least one employee.
At the time, no reason was given for Fairhurst’s dismissal and his family claimed he had been called a ‘scapegoat’ for his boss, but allegations have now emerged that the Wigan-born executive was also the subject of complaints from staff.
David Fairhurst, McDonald’s human resources manager until his dismissal for unknown reasons last year, has been accused by an internal investigation of making the women at the company “uncomfortable.”
Heidi Capozzi, McDonald’s new human resources manager, told staff at a meeting last week that Fairhurst was fired for “making women in the company uncomfortable on numerous occasions during ‘professional events,’ reported the Wall Street Journal.
Sources separately told the newspaper that Fairhurst had contributed to a “party culture” under Easterbrook’s tenure.
Fairhurst was sacked after the company received a complaint about his behavior towards the company’s women, the newspaper reported, without saying exactly what the complaint was.
The director of human resources did not respond to requests for comment from the Wall Street Journal.
When he left last year, he posted a post on LinkedIn saying he was “moving on to my next career challenge,” without giving details.
Fairhurst was promoted to director of human resources by McDonald’s CEO Steve Easterbrook until he was sacked for his staff relations (pictured with a public relations manager he had an affair with)
Fairhurst is now believed to be at the center of a McDonald’s investigation into Easterbrook’s tenure as the company’s CEO.
Staff members said they felt complaints to the human resources department had been ignored, while others feared reprisal if they complained to company executives, WSJ reported.
“The board will follow the facts wherever they lead,” McDonald’s said in a statement to DailyMail.com.
Easterbrook rose to the top of McDonald’s management structure in 2015, having risen through the ranks of Store Manager which he took over in 1993.
Shortly after being airlifted to the company’s Chicago headquarters to start his new job, he promoted Fairhurst – with whom he had previously worked in the UK – to head of human resources.
The two ran the company until November of last year, when Easterbrook was fired after having a consensual relationship with an employee.
McDonald’s corporate policy prohibits any relationship between officers and their direct or indirect reports.
Despite his dismissal, Easterbrook was allowed to keep $ 40 million in bonuses and stock after telling McDonald’s that no further relationship had taken place.
But McDonald’s is now suing its former CEO, saying an internal investigation has revealed relationships with at least three other employees.
The company claims information led them to servers where nude and partially nude images and videos of staff members were stored.
The files were originally sent to Easterbrook’s work phone and email account, but had been deleted. They were archived on the server without his knowledge.
McDonald’s is now suing Easterbrook amid allegations of having had relationships with up to four staff, while also investigating human resources culture during his time at the helm of the company.
McDonald’s accused Easterbrook of deleting the files in order to hide the connections and then lying to investigators about them.
Easterbrook has since filed a lawsuit against the company, saying she was aware of the other relationships when negotiating her severance package.
McDonald’s asked the court to dismiss his petition.
It was also revealed that Easterbrook had another relationship with a PR representative who was hired by McDonald’s before becoming CEO.
He is believed to have dated Denise Paleothodoros for two years until the relationship came to light in 2015, the same year he was promoted to CEO.
McDonald’s was aware of the relationship, but concluded that he was not breaking the policy.
After the revelation of the case, Miss Paleothodoros’ employers, Golin, transferred her to another account.
Easterbrook was married to his wife Susie and the couple have three children, although it is not known when they separated.
Upon leaving, Easterbrook emailed staff saying, “Given the values of the company, I agree with the board that it is time to move on.