- McDonald's Corporation announced Heidi B. Capozzi as its executive vice president and global chief people officer March 16.
- Capozzi comes to McDonald's from The Boeing Company, where she served as senior vice president of human resources since 2016, and was a member of the company's executive council. She led initiatives for 160,000 employees across a $76 billion global enterprise, according to McDonald's. Capozzi also previously served as Boeing's vice president of talent and leadership, where she was responsible for identifying and developing emerging leadership talent.
- In her new role at McDonald's, she will oversee the company's global human resources operations, and will be a member of CEO Chris Kempczinksi's executive team.
The workplace culture of the fast-food giant has recently been in the spotlight as a result of major leadership changes, alleged labor violations and discrimination lawsuits.
The hiring of Capozzi comes about four months after a shake-up in company leadership. McDonald's board members voted to fire Steve Easterbrook in November 2019 over a consensual relationship with an employee, which is a violation of corporate policy. Just three days after Easterbrook was terminated, David Fairhurst left his position as chief people officer. He was with the company for 15 years and was promoted to the position in 2015 by Easterbrook. The company did not provide a reason for Fairhurst's departure.
Kempczinski said that Capozzi was a critical hire. "Finding the right chief people officer has been a top priority of mine," he said in a statement. "Her track record as a solutions-oriented partner to business leaders is consistent: Heidi brings insights from deep functional expertise to solve difficult and important business challenges."
Capozzi will begin her tenure as McDonald's faces a lawsuit filed by two African American senior executives in January 2020 claiming a continual"pattern and practice of intentional race discrimination." The plaintiffs said the work environment worsened when the company's former chief executive Easterbrook took over in 2015.
McDonald's told HR Dive in a statement in January that "almost half of our Corporate Officers are people of color — an increase of nearly 10 percent from 2013 — and that all 10 of the U.S. Field Vice Presidents are people of color".
But the company had a win in December 2019 when the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) approved a settlement agreement involving McDonald's franchises. While McDonald's did pay roughly $170,000 to its operators, the NLRB absolved the corporation from joint employment responsibility for certain alleged labor violations.