On Thursday, it was announced that the settlement with McDonald's former CEO Steve Easterbrook, who was ousted in 2019 for hiding an inappropriate relationship with a subordinate, has returned $105 million in cash and stock to the company.

McDonald's filed a lawsuit in August 2020 against Easterbrook for lying about the extent of his relationships with employees. Easterbrook was fired in 2019 after it was determined that he violated company policy by demonstrating "poor judgment involving a recent consensual relationship with an employee."

It is considered one of the largest clawbacks in the history of corporate America, Easterbrook, clawing back his severance payment valued at $105 million. He has returned the equity and cash awarded in his severance agreement. However, how much of that is stock or cash was not revealed. 

McDonald's filed "misconduct, lies, and efforts to impede investigations into his actions" at the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). 

"This settlement holds Steve Easterbrook accountable for his clear misconduct, including the way in which he exploited his position as CEO," Enrique Hernandez, Jr., the chairman of McDonald's board of directors, said in the filing. "The resolution avoids a protracted court process and allows us to move forward."

Easterbrook apologized to the board, former co-workers and the company's franchisees and suppliers as he admitted, "During my tenure as CEO, I failed at times to uphold McDonald's values and fulfill certain of my responsibilities as a leader of the company."

Evidence of "dozens of nude, partially nude, or sexually explicit photographs and videos of various women," including photographs of the three employees, were reported. According to the court, Easterbrook inserted the images to emails he sent from his work to his personal account. He allegedly deleted emails from his phone. The company also stated that Easterbrook had given hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of stock to one of the women he had a sexual relationship with. 

Meanwhile, under the lead of the current CEO, Chris Kempczinski, he has been trying to change and improve the company's culture perception by holding town halls with employees and other stakeholders and instating new company-wide values.

McDonald's logo The McDonald's logo is seen outside a restaurant in Washington, DC, on July 9, 2019. Photo by Alastair Pike/AFP via Getty Images