Financing

McDonald's CEO Chris Kempczinski got a raise last year

But the fast-food chain’s chief executive, who was recently given the chairman title, still makes less than he did two years ago.
Chris Kempczinski
Chris Kempczinski, chairman and CEO of McDonald's. | Photo courtesy of McDonald's.

Chris Kempczinski got a raise before he got a new title.

The CEO and now chairman of McDonald’s was paid $19.2 million last year in salary, bonuses and stock, according to federal securities filings.

That was an 8% increase over 2022. But it remained somewhat lower than in 2021, when Kempczinski was paid about $20 million.

The bulk of Kempczinski’s pay package came in the form of stock and option awards, which total about $13 million. He was paid a base salary of $1.4 million and received just over $4 million in incentive compensation—the bonus was about $200,000 less than he received in 2022.

Kempczinski was also paid about $700,000 in “other” compensation, which includes things like life insurance, retirement plan contributions and use of the corporate jet.

McDonald’s is the world’s largest restaurant chain and its CEO is typically among the highest paid executives in the industry. It is also among the most closely watched pay packages on Wall Street, given McDonald’s visibility and labor activists’ push to raise base pay at fast-food restaurants.

Overall, Kempczinski’s total compensation was 1,212 times median employee pay last year, according to the filing.

McDonald’s has enjoyed a strong run of performance coming out of the pandemic, despite a host of concerns such as inflation, the closure of the company’s Russian restaurants and more recently worries about high fast-food prices.

Revenues increased 10% and global same-store sales increased 9% last year, including 8.7% in the U.S.

Kempczinski was named CEO in 2019 following the firing of Steve Easterbrook. He then guided the chain through the pandemic and its aftermath. Same-store sales have increased all but one quarter in the U.S. since he was promoted after leading McDonald’s USA.

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