Economic Trouble: McDonald’s Temporarily Closes US Headquarters, Begins Making Significant Cuts

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McDonald’s Corp. CEO Chris Kempczinski told The Wall Street Journal just after the first of the year that the company would have to make some “difficult” decisions that would impact its headquarters employees.

“Some jobs that are existing today are either going to get moved or those jobs may go away,” he told the Journal on Jan. 6.

Monday was the first business day of April, and it appears that Kempczinski is as good as his word.

“McDonald’s Corp. is temporarily closing its U.S. offices this week as it prepares to inform corporate employees about layoffs undertaken by the burger giant as part of a broader company restructuring,” the Journal reported Sunday evening in an exclusive report.

The company’s official Twitter account made no mention of the closing or potential layoffs. The last tweet from the account was 10 days old.

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McDonald’s told U.S. employees and “some international staff” last week that they should work from home for the first three days of this week and cancel “all in-person meetings with vendors and other outside parties” at its Chicago headquarters.

That was intended to allow the company to “deliver staffing decisions virtually,” the Journal reported.

“During the week of April 3, we will communicate key decisions related to roles and staffing levels across the organization,” the email said, according to Sunday evening’s report.

The company declined to provide the number of employees who would be impacted by the cuts, according to the Journal.

According to the report, McDonald’s employs more than 150,000 worldwide, but only about 45,000 of those are in the U.S., and most of those presumably work in restaurants, not the corporate office.

McDonald’s cut management positions in 2018. The number of employees affected by those cuts was not reported, but the Journal noted that the company had 30,000 fewer employees in 2019 than it had in 2017.

McDonald’s joins the growing ranks of U.S. companies forced to cut staff since President Joe Biden took office just over two years ago.

Music streaming service Spotify announced in January that it would be cutting about 6 percent of its workforce “to bring out costs more in line.”

Tech giant Google announced layoffs impacting 12,000 workers, also in January.

And last month, electric vehicle startup Lucid Group announced that it was laying off 1,300 workers.

The U.S. unemployment rate inched up in February to 3.6 percent from January’s 3.4 percent, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.


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