This post is part of the On the Margin blog.
Steve Easterbrook became CEO of McDonald’s Corp. in March of last year, tasked with turning around the world’s largest restaurant chain after years of declining sales and weakness in every one of its major markets.
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 exchange, McDonald’s gave Easterbrook total compensation of $7.9 million.
Easterbrook’s pay level includes just over $1 million in base salary, plus more than $5 million in stock and option awards. The company’s performance also earned the CEO nearly $1.5 million in incentive payments.
By comparison, Easterbrook’s predecessor as CEO, Don Thompson, received $7.3 million for a full year in 2014.
But Thompson’s pay was down nearly 50 percent from two years earlier, when he received $13.8 million, and down about 18 percent from 2013, when he received $9.5 million.
Thompson also received nearly $2.1 million from McDonald’s in 2015. That includes $251,603 in base salary plus $292,274 in incentive compensation. And Thompson received just more than $1.5 million payment for a retirement and consulting agreement.