McDonald's Sales Drop; CEO Takes 50 Pct. Pay Cut

Not surprisingly, McDonald’s Corp. posted a dive in sales for the first quarter as its stores closed and the company relied on delivery and takeout orders amid COVID-19 restrictions. As reported by Reuters, the world’s biggest burger chain said comparable store sales fell 3.4 percent for the quarter, missing analysts’ expectations of a less than 1 percent drop.

In March, comparable sales dropped 22 percent globally and 13.4 percent in the U.S., as a majority of its nearly 14,000 U.S. stores shuttered its dining rooms. The company has suspended share buybacks to boost its cash reserves, the report said.

“This unprecedented situation is changing the world we live in, and we will need to adapt to a new reality in its aftermath,” CEO Chris Kempczinski said in a statement.

On the same day that the disappointing sales numbers were released, Kempczinski said he will voluntarily reduce his salary by half through Sept. 30 as a result of the impact of the global pandemic. Salary.Com reported that he earned $4.6 million in total compensation in 2018.

"These are unprecedented times, and simply put, I felt this was the right thing to do. Ian Borden, Joe Erlinger, Jerry Krulewitch and Kevin Ozan have volunteered to reduce their salaries by one-quarter, also at least through Sept. 30, as our named executive officers," he said. "This follows discussions with the Board in recent weeks and they endorsed this decision."

McDonald's also provided an update on the impact of the coronavirus on their business. The chief executive said that while January and February sales were “strong,” the world has changed since then based on restrictions set by governments around the world, leading to a significant decline in sales.

“We’re learning more about this situation by the day, and over the coming weeks and months, we’ll better understand the enduring consequences it presents," Kempczinski said. "But I remain confident in our future because we have the right purpose, values and, most importantly, people, to help us emerge from this challenging time with strength.”