McDonald’s CEO Paid $7.9 Million In 2015

McDonald’s CEO Steve Easterbrook earned $7.9 million in total compensation for last year, his first as head of the world’s largest fast food hamburger chain, McDonald’s Corp. reported on Friday.

According to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Easterbrook’s base salary for 2015 was $1.025 million. He was promoted from chief brand officer to chief executive of the fast food giant on March 1, 2015, and received a hefty raise, increasing base salary to $1.3 million. As is common for CEOs of major corporations, the bulk of his pay was from stock options, which were worth almost $3 million, with executive’s options being worth another $2.1 million for a total of over $5 million in stock options.

According to the Chicago Tribune, Easterbrook also received a performance-based bonus of $1.5 million and perks worth roughly $341,000.

“Easterbrook’s benefits included $92,250 in company contributions to a profit-sharing plan and a total of $224,235 for extras such as the personal use of a company car and aircraft, financial planning, an annual physical exam, matching charitable donations and security.”

Steve Easterbrook took over the CEO position from Don Thompson, who received $7.3 million in compensation for the full year of 2014 by comparison. Thompson received $7.3 million from in pay from McDonald’s in 2015. Yet, his pat was down almost 50 percent from two years previously, when he received $13.8 million. It was also down 18 percent from 2013, when he received $9.5 million.

The new CEO is credited with efforts to turn around McDonald’s chain after years of declining sales and stiff competition from rivals such as Burger King and newer upstarts like Five Guys and Shake Shack Inc. According to MarketWatch, last year McDonald’s closed more restaurants in the U.S. than it opened for the first time in its history, with about 100 restaurants closing their doors.

Nation’s Restaurant News reported on some of the changes the new chief executive made to reinvigorate the McDonald’s brand.

“Easterbrook unleashed a series of changes at the Oak Brook, Ill.-based giant, including a global restructuring, major cost cuts, improvements to products, the introduction of all-day breakfast in the U.S. and a new value offering. These efforts yielded some success by the end of the year. The company’s stock price increased by more than 26 percent in 2015 and its sales recovered in its key U.S. market. Global same-store sales increased 5 percent, and they increased 5.7 percent in the U.S.”

In January, McDonald’s had its best quarterly sales in almost four years, with sales jumping 5.7 percent in the first quarter, the best results in the last fifteen quarters. Operating income increased to 30 percent from the prior year.

Of course, Easterbrook wasn’t the only McDonald’s executive to make huge profits this year from the fast food chain’s economic gains, as the Street reports.

“Andrew McKenna, who will retire shortly as McDonald’s non-executive chairman after serving a 12-year stint, earned about $1.1 million in total compensation in 2015. The amount was relatively unchanged from 2014. McKenna has been well-rewarded for sitting atop the board of the world’s largest restaurant chain. According to a review of McDonald’s past proxy filings, the company has doled out about $10.1 million in total compensation to McKenna over the past 12 years in a mix of stock awards and fees.”

The CEO’s annual target incentive was a remarkable 175 percent of his salary at $3 million for the successes McDonald’s has obtained so far. He was promised a bigger reward if the company’s earning continue to improve for the rest of 2016.

Oddly, McDonald’s CEO continues to make millions less than Chipotle’s chief executives. As the Inquisitr previously reported, both of Chipotle’s two CEOs were paid over $13 million each for the fiscal year 2015, despite a disastrous year for the burrito chain, with shares plummeting roughly 30 percent overall.

[Photo by Hannelore Foerster/Getty Images]