The McDonald's fast food company announced Tuesday that it would temporarily close 850 stores across Russia in response to the ongoing invasion of Ukraine.
CEO Chris Kempczinski wrote in a letter to McDonald's employees: "The conflict in Ukraine and the humanitarian crisis in Europe has caused unspeakable suffering to innocent people. As a System, we join the world in condemning aggression and violence and praying for peace."
"Working closely in consultation with our Chairman, Rick Hernandez, and the rest of McDonald’s Board of Directors over the last week, McDonald’s has decided to temporarily close all our restaurants in Russia and pause all operations in the market. We understand the impact this will have on our Russian colleagues and partners, which is why we are prepared to support all three legs of the stool in Ukraine and Russia. This includes salary continuation for all McDonald’s employees in Russia," he wrote.
Kempczinski said that the company would continue to pay its 62,000 employees in Russia and the Ronald McDonald House Charities in Russia would continue to operate.
"Years ago, when confronted with his own difficult decision, Fred Turner explained his approach quite simply: “Do the right thing.” That philosophy is enshrined as one of our five guiding values, and there are countless examples over the years of McDonald’s Corporation living up to Fred’s simple ideal. Today, is also one of those days," Kempczinski said.
"As we move forward, McDonald’s will continue to assess the situation and determine if any additional measures are required. At this juncture, it’s impossible to predict when we might be able to reopen our restaurants in Russia. We are experiencing disruptions to our supply chain along with other operational impacts. We will also closely monitor the humanitarian situation," he added.