It’s Good to Be the King

Written by SK Ashby

If you haven't been paying attention, fast-food chain McDonald's hasn't been doing so well lately.

McDonald's sales have fallen for several successive years in a row, labor strikes have dominated company headlines, and their Mighty Wings proved to be a spectacular failure that they couldn't give away.

The CEO responsible for this, Don Thompson, was recently fired by the company, but don't worry about him -- he's going to be just fine. In fact, McDonald's has awarded him a new $3 million contract to serve as a consultant.

Now they’re keeping him firmly in the picture, and shelling out millions more to retain access to his advice and ideas. Between the $3 million consulting retainer, $27.4 million in total compensation from 2011 to 2013, and the as-yet-unknown pay package he received for 2014, Thompson likely earned something close to $40 million since taking the top job.

As you know, the employees who actually keep the company running by serving french fries and asking customers to pay for their meal with hugs are fortunate if they make more than $8 an hour.

Personally I haven't visited a drive-thru or consumed a McDonald's hamburger in nearly four years, but If I were inclined to eat fast-food I sure as hell wouldn't go to McDonald's.

McDonald's has become the butt of every joke; synonymous with slave wages, ridiculous marketing campaigns, bad food and weak business. And now the company can be associated with failing upwards and exuberant golden parachutes for failed CEOs.

No doubt this will factor into any discussion or protest in the future about the state of wages for McDonald's employees.