A Former McDonald's CEO Just Took Hypocrisy to the Next Level

November 6th 2015

Diana Crandall

In a sign of the times, a former CEO who stepped down during the height of McDonald's financial turmoil and wage disputes is now joining a vegan start-up.

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Don Thompson stepped down as CEO of McDonald’s earlier this year after working for the company for 25 years, the Los Angeles Times reports. Now, Thompson will join the board of directors of Beyond Meat.

Sound like a new burger?


A photo posted by Beyond Meat (@beyondmeat) on

It is. Beyond Meat differs drastically from McDonald's considering that it doesn't offer red meat or chicken. The company distributes foods to retailers nationwide and recreates foods like eggs and meat with plant-based ingredients, which are more sustainable for the environment.

Although Thompson isn’t a CEO at McDonald's anymore, he’s not completely out of the company. The San Luis Obispo Tribune reports that Thompson has extended a $3 million dollar consulting agreement with McDonald’s while works for Beyond Meat.


It’s clear that McDonald’s is struggling. Fortune reports that in the first quarter of 2015 alone, McDonald’s sales declined more than $400 million. The drop is attributed in part to the different tastes and values of Millennials, who view the brand as less health-conscious.

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But it isn’t just younger generations who don’t want to be associated with the fast food giant. Even celebrities are abandoning McDonald’s.

Last month, NBA star LeBron James announced that he would not be renewing his contract with the company.

"I ate McDonald's my first couple years in the NBA and I didn't stretch, I didn't ice, it didn't matter," James said. "I was 18, I could do whatever I wanted to." Asked when he last ate McDonald's, James collected himself and replied, "uh, every day," with a sideways glance.

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