McDonald's is laying off hundreds of corporate employees and letting some stay with lower benefits, reports say
McDonald's will cut "less than 1,000" jobs, Restaurant Business reports. The fast-food giant's CEO has said cutbacks "will help us move faster."
McDonald's reportedly is laying off hundreds of employees – and offering some the option to stay on with lower compensation – as it closes field offices nationwide. The changes come three months after the fast-food chain warned that a restructuring was imminent.
The company is letting go of "less than 1,000" employees, Restaurant Business reported on Thursday. The exact number of positions affected by the layoffs wasn't clear. Prior to the reduction, McDonald's had about 150,000 employees across its corporate teams and company-owned restaurants.
Some employees were told that they could continue working at McDonald's if they accepted reductions in bonuses and equity grants, the Wall Street Journal reported on Friday.
The layoffs affected both decades-long employees as well as recent hires, the Journal reported. Some laid-off employees broke the news on LinkedIn, with one composing a haiku.
"These decisions weren't easy to make, but I am confident this is the right path forward to improve how we solve problems for our customers and people," McDonald's US president, Joe Erlinger, said in a message to restaurant operators seen by Insider.
McDonald's is also shuttering 10 field offices, according to Erlinger's note. It says the restaurant chain has field offices in cities such as Dallas, Nashville, and Long Beach, California. The employees who previously reported to those offices will work remotely permanently.
Field officers spend much of their time traveling and visiting McDonald's restaurants, and office attendance has taken an additional hit over the last few years due to the pandemic, Restaurant Business reported.
The 10 field divisions will remain, though McDonald's is combining them under a single structure for the whole US. Previously, the chain divided its field offices between one zone for the East and one for the West, according to Erlinger's note.
The reorganizing is also bringing some promotions with it. Michael Gonda will become McDonald's chief impact officer for North America after working as global chief communications officer. That role will be filled by Sandy Rodriguez, currently vice president of U.S. communications, according to Erlinger's note. Myra Doria will be McDonald's national field president.
A McDonald's spokesperson declined to comment on the reorganization.
McDonald's employees have been expecting job cuts since January. Back then, CEO Chris Kempczinski told employees that layoffs were possible in April. The cuts "will help us move faster as an organization, while reducing our global costs and freeing up resources to invest in our growth," Kempczinski said in a memo to employees.
The restaurant chain is "in the strongest position it has been in years," Erlinger wrote in his memo this week. But McDonald's corporate structure "has grown increasingly complex in recent years," he added.
"As we learned during the pandemic, there is great value in leaning into simple solutions, like returning to our core menu, to better leverage our scale and make it easier to work together across all three legs of the stool," Erlinger wrote.
The reductions are part of McDonald's "Accelerating the Organization" and "Accelerating the Arches" growth strategy. The chain told employees last week to work from home between April 3-5 and cancel meetings at its headquarters in Chicago as it conducted the layoffs, according to a memo seen by Insider.