Fired McDonald’s CEO is seen for the first time since he was canned over affair with employee

McDonald’s CEO Steve Easterbrook was seen for the first time since he was fired from the fast food giant over an affair with an employee, breaking cover while heading to an Apple store to buy a new laptop, exclusive DailyMail.com photos show.

The 52-year-old used the cover of darkness to make a trip to the store on Wednesday night, dressed down in jeans, sneakers and a quilted jacket.  

The British-born businessman admitted earlier this week he had showed ‘poor judgment’ after starting a relationship with another employee, whose identity has not yet been revealed.

Although the relationship was consensual, it violated a company policy that forbids managers from having romantic relationships with any subordinate, costing Easterbrook his cushy $16 million-a-year job. 

He was spotted in public as it was revealed he had previously escaped censure for another office romance. He dated Denise Paleothodoros, 46, when she was assigned to the McDonald’s account by her PR firm, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Steve Easterbrook was seen for the first time since he was fired from McDonald's over an affair with an employee, breaking cover while heading to an Apple store to buy a new laptop on Wednesday night, exclusive DailyMail.com photos show

Steve Easterbrook was seen for the first time since he was fired from McDonald's over an affair with an employee, breaking cover while heading to an Apple store to buy a new laptop on Wednesday night, exclusive DailyMail.com photos show

Steve Easterbrook was seen for the first time since he was fired from McDonald’s over an affair with an employee, breaking cover while heading to an Apple store to buy a new laptop on Wednesday night, exclusive DailyMail.com photos show

Easterbrook was at the Apple store for around 30 minutes to purchase his new laptop, talking to an Apple store employee for most of his visit

Easterbrook was at the Apple store for around 30 minutes to purchase his new laptop, talking to an Apple store employee for most of his visit

Easterbrook was at the Apple store for around 30 minutes to purchase his new laptop, talking to an Apple store employee for most of his visit 

After setting up his sleek new computer, he headed home holding his bag

After setting up his sleek new computer, he headed home holding his bag

After setting up his sleek new computer, he headed home holding his bag

After setting up his sleek new computer, he headed home holding his bag

 After setting up his sleek new computer, he headed home holding an Apple bag

The British-born businessman admitted earlier this week he had showed 'poor judgment' after starting a relationship with another employee. Although the relationship was consensual, it violated a company policy that forbids managers having romantic relationships with any subordinate, costing Easterbrook his cushy $16 million-a-year job

The British-born businessman admitted earlier this week he had showed 'poor judgment' after starting a relationship with another employee. Although the relationship was consensual, it violated a company policy that forbids managers having romantic relationships with any subordinate, costing Easterbrook his cushy $16 million-a-year job

The British-born businessman admitted earlier this week he had showed ‘poor judgment’ after starting a relationship with another employee. Although the relationship was consensual, it violated a company policy that forbids managers having romantic relationships with any subordinate, costing Easterbrook his cushy $16 million-a-year job

Easterbrook was at the Apple store for around 30 minutes to purchase his new laptop, talking to a store employee for most of his visit.  

After setting up his sleek new computer, he headed home holding his bag.

McDonald’s board of directors voted for Easterbrook’s departure last Friday after a review of his conduct concluded he had ‘demonstrated poor judgement’. 

The WSJ also reported that the McDonald’s board of directors began investigating Easterbrook’s more recent affair three weeks ago.

After an internal investigation, the company’s general counsel, Jerry Krulewitch, informed the board and it hired New York City law firm Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz to examine the legal risk.

The investigation concluded that the relationship was ‘short-term and consensual’ but it raised questions about Easterbrook’s judgement and he was fired. 

The details about his relationship, including who it was with and how long for, have not been disclosed.

However the identification of the previous woman he was involved with has been revealed.

His two-year affair with Paleothodoros came to light in 2015 but the fast food company concluded the relationship did not violate its policies.

Steve Easterbrook, 52, dated Denise Paleothodoros, 46, (pictured) when she was assigned to the McDonald’s account by her PR firm

Steve Easterbrook, 52, dated Denise Paleothodoros, 46, (pictured) when she was assigned to the McDonald’s account by her PR firm

Steve Easterbrook, 52, dated Denise Paleothodoros, 46, (pictured) when she was assigned to the McDonald’s account by her PR firm

Paleothodoros’s (pictured right) employers, Golin, moved her to another account

Paleothodoros’s (pictured right) employers, Golin, moved her to another account

Paleothodoros’s (pictured right) employers, Golin, moved her to another account

Paleothodoros’s employers, Golin, moved her to another account. Paleothodoros is now the executive director of Golin. 

Paleothodoros said in a statement: ‘Steve and I were in a relationship and that ended amicably a while ago.’

The father-of-three is believed to have divorced his British wife in 2013, the same year he moved to the company’s headquarters in Chicago to be a senior executive.

Meanwhile, his family are in the dark about the circumstances behind his firing.

His brother-in-law Mark Baxter, 55, who is married to his sister Joanne, told MailOnline: ‘[It] looks like Steve has been a naughty boy.

‘We heard on Sunday that he had been fired. We don’t know any other details.’

In an email to McDonald’s staff, Easterbrook wrote: ‘This was a mistake. Given the values of the company, I agree with the board that it is time for me to move on.’

McDonald's board of directors voted for Easterbrook's departure last Friday after a review of his conduct concluded he had 'demonstrated poor judgement'. But details about his relationship, including who it was with and how long for, have not been disclosed

McDonald's board of directors voted for Easterbrook's departure last Friday after a review of his conduct concluded he had 'demonstrated poor judgement'. But details about his relationship, including who it was with and how long for, have not been disclosed

McDonald’s board of directors voted for Easterbrook’s departure last Friday after a review of his conduct concluded he had ‘demonstrated poor judgement’. But details about his relationship, including who it was with and how long for, have not been disclosed

In an email to McDonald's staff, Easterbrook wrote: 'This was a mistake. Given the values of the company, I agree with the board that it is time for me to move on.' And he'll move on to the tune of $27 million (£21 million), according to details of his pay package, which includes six months of his basic salary, bonuses and stock shares

In an email to McDonald's staff, Easterbrook wrote: 'This was a mistake. Given the values of the company, I agree with the board that it is time for me to move on.' And he'll move on to the tune of $27 million (£21 million), according to details of his pay package, which includes six months of his basic salary, bonuses and stock shares

In an email to McDonald’s staff, Easterbrook wrote: ‘This was a mistake. Given the values of the company, I agree with the board that it is time for me to move on.’ And he’ll move on to the tune of $27 million (£21 million), according to details of his pay package, which includes six months of his basic salary, bonuses and stock shares

As part of his leaving deal, Easterbrook signed a gag order agreeing not to say anything that 'disparages or damages' McDonald's reputation

As part of his leaving deal, Easterbrook signed a gag order agreeing not to say anything that 'disparages or damages' McDonald's reputation

As part of his leaving deal, Easterbrook signed a gag order agreeing not to say anything that ‘disparages or damages’ McDonald’s reputation

And he’ll move on to the tune of $27 million (£21 million), according to details of his pay package, which includes six months of his basic salary, bonuses and stock shares.  

Already, he walks away with half a year’s salary, worth around $670,000 (£520,000).

According to filings submitted, his contract was deemed to have been terminated ‘without cause’, which means he’s still eligible for previous bonuses due to be paid out over the next three years. 

If McDonald’s hits its yearly targets, he is set to receive a bonus worth between $2.32 million (£1.8 million) and $4.76 million (£3.7 million).

Company filings also show he had amassed 122,986 shares from previous bonuses by the end of last year – worth around $22.9 million (£17.8 million) at today’s prices. 

As part of his leaving deal, Easterbrook signed a gag order agreeing not to say anything that ‘disparages or damages’ McDonald’s reputation. 

He is also banned from working for a rival, such as Burger King, for the next two years. 

McDonald’s shares on Wall Street plunged after Easterbrook’s firing, who went from branch manager to running the company within 25 years. 

Easterbrook was credited with turning around McDonald's fortunes after profits fell, through simplifying menus, improving the quality of ingredients and introducing healthier products such as more salads, fresh fruit and juices

Easterbrook was credited with turning around McDonald's fortunes after profits fell, through simplifying menus, improving the quality of ingredients and introducing healthier products such as more salads, fresh fruit and juices

Easterbrook was credited with turning around McDonald’s fortunes after profits fell, through simplifying menus, improving the quality of ingredients and introducing healthier products such as more salads, fresh fruit and juices

Easterbrook is banned from working for a rival, such as Burger King, for the next two years

Easterbrook is banned from working for a rival, such as Burger King, for the next two years

Easterbrook is banned from working for a rival, such as Burger King, for the next two years

Easterbrook is banned from working for a rival, such as Burger King, for the next two years

Easterbrook is banned from working for a rival, such as Burger King, for the next two years

He was credited with turning around McDonald’s fortunes after profits fell, doing so by simplifying menus, improving the quality of ingredients and introducing healthier products such as more salads, fresh fruit and juices. 

His rise to the top of the world’s most famous fast food brand was an extraordinary one.

The Brit, an avid supporter of Watford FC and England’s cricket team, joined the company in 1993 as a branch manager, working his way up to become its UK chief in 2006 and then becoming president of its northern European business, putting him in charge of 1,800 restaurants.

In 2011 he became boss of UK’s Pizza Express and then Wagamama but then went back to McDonald’s as Chief Brand Office in 2013.

He then became overall boss in 2015, running the business from its $250 million headquarters in Chicago. 

He was married to British wife Susie, and the couple have three children. It is not known when they separated but they are believed to have been divorced since he moved to the US. 

Under his leadership the company’s shares nearly doubled in value while sales at its US locations stagnated.

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