McDonald’s CEO Apologies To Emloyees, Chicagoans For “Victim Blaming” Texts
The CEO of McDonald’s has found himself in a bit of hot water this week, but fortunately for him, the latest leadership scandal at America’s biggest burger franchise is far more tame than the scandal that brought down his predecessor, Steve Easterbrook, who was accused of having an inappropriate sexual relationship with a subordinate and then saw his former employer try to claw back some of his compensation.
This time around, Micky D’s CEO Chris Kempczinski has issued an apology for a text he sent to Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot after his initial texts elicited accusations of racism by local activist groups.
Kempczinski addressed US employees, including some at the company’s Chicago headquarters and others virtually, Monday afternoon.
CEO Kempczinski,whose predecessors helped moved the McDonald’s corporate headquarters to the city of Chicago from the suburb of Oak Ridge, part of an effort to try and attract more young white collar talent. CEO Kempczinski apologized for the text exchange with Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot in calls and messages over the past week, according to the Journal.
Yesterday, Kempczinski addressed US employees, including some at the company’s Chicago headquarters, while addressing others virtually, to try and convey a sincere apology.
The “apology” comes after Kempczinski sent Lightfoot an April 19 text accusing parents in the city for “failing” their children, including two specific victims of gun violence. 13 year old Adam Toledo was shot and killed by police during a foot chase.
The text was sent shortly after Lightfoot had visited the McDonald’s headquarters and appeared to be referring to the deaths of Jaslyn Adams, 7, who was killed the day before the text in her father’s car outside a Chicago area McDonald’s, and Adam Toledo, 13, who was fatally shot by police the month prior.
The protest eventually morphed into a demand for higher wages.
“Those comments were wrong, and I’m sorry. I’m sorry I let you down. And I let myself down,” Kempczinski said in the video to US employees, operators and suppliers that was recorded Saturday and viewed by the Journal. “I have, through my background, a very narrow worldview,” he added. “My comments to Mayor Lightfoot revealed that ignorance.”
The CEO was out of the country when a coalition of groups launched an attack on him, accusing him of being a racist. The group of 12 organizations, including Fight for $15 and the Chicago Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression, published an open letter accusing Kempczinski of racism.
“It’s clear to us you’re the one who has failed here,” the letter said. “Your text message was ignorant, racist and unacceptable coming from anyone, let alone the CEO of McDonald’s, a company that spends big money to market to communities of color and purports to stand with Black lives.”
They went on to stage protests against McDonald’s restaurants in the city after the statement.
A spox for Lightfoot blamed the CEO for his ignorance of how families battle gun violence exploding on the South Side virtually on their own: “ Victim shaming has no place in this conversation,” they said.
Kempczinski also said in a letter to employees that he’s learning more about the dynamics of the city and that he was speaking rashly as a parent.
Well, at leaast it looks like Kempczinski will keep his job at least since he didn’t use his leadership position to push a junior employee into sexual relationship with him.
Tue, 11/09/2021 – 17:25