McDonald’s has announced it will no longer operate in Russia. For the first time in its history, locations in the country will close after 32 years.
McDonald’s CEO Chris Kempczinski shared the difficult decision to “de-Arch” one of their biggest markets in a lengthy letter.
“When I last wrote to you regarding the war in Ukraine and the humanitarian crisis resulting from it back in March, we held out hope for peace to soon return to the region,” said Kempczinski, stating that hope is what brought McDonald’s to the Russian market over three decades ago.
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Kempczinski goes into detail about its history with Russia and how it signified a change in the country; however, as the situation continues to escalate, remaining in the country no longer aligns with the company’s values and principles.
“Are we legally allowed to operate in the country? Do we have the freedom to operate the business and meet the needs of our customers and crew unimpeded? Is our presence in the market brand-enhancing to our global operations? And does it make good business sense? Unfortunately, the answer to each of these questions is currently no, and I don’t see that changing for the foreseeable future,” said Kempczinski.
“Some might argue that providing access to food and continuing to employ tens of thousands of ordinary citizens is surely the right thing to do. But it is impossible to ignore the humanitarian crisis caused by the war in Ukraine… That’s why McDonald’s has made the decision to completely exit the Russian market.”
Although this may not be a permanent “goodbye,” Russians will no longer dine at McDonald’s for the foreseeable future.