Two months after being promoted to McDonald's U.S. chief people officer, Melanie Steinbach has left the company, according to The Wall Street Journal.
In June, McDonald's announced that Steinbach, previously the vice president and global chief talent officer, would replace outgoing U.S. chief people officer Melissa Kersey. The move was effective July 1. She spent three years with the company, and previously worked as chief human resources officer at industrial manufacturer Milliken & Company. In her time with the brand, Steinbach was responsible for redesigning the company’s approach to talent management and deploying those changes worldwide.
In a recording of an online meeting accessed by the Journal, Global Chief Talent Officer Heidi Capozzi said, “for a variety of reasons, and unfortunately I can’t comment on the specifics, we determined that her separation was really in the best interest of the company.” McDonald’s is searching for Steinbach’s replacement.
Since November, McDonald’s has worked to improve its company culture after it was reported that parties and late-night socialization happened among executives and employees under former CEO Steve Easterbrook. The ousted leader is currently in a legal battle with the quick-serve giant after he allegedly hid additional sexual relationships. The turnaround began with the hire of CEO Chris Kempcinzski, who has promised to improve the work environment.
McDonald’s brought on Capozzi in March to effect change. In a message to employees last week, Kempczinski said she’s been “leading to identify more opportunities to support our employees, customers, and suppliers.”
“As we recommit to our values, now, more than ever, is the time to lean in to what we stand for and act as a positive force for change,” Kempcinzski said in a statement. “That includes working together to enhance our culture by continuing to do the things we do well while developing solutions for how we can improve.”
“ … Our top priority remains our people and our efforts to support all parts of the System during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond.”
However, there have been hiccups in McDonald’s pursuit toward improving workplace culture. In January, Two Dallas-based McDonald’s executives filed a lawsuit against the company, accusing it of racism. The filing accused McDonald’s of consistently not promoting black leaders within the company.
Additionally, in June, an Illinois court issued a preliminary injunction against McDonald’s ruling that McDonald’s isn’t doing enough to protect employees amid the COVID pandemic. Three restaurants were ordered to improve their safety training and provide stricter enforcement of their rules.