As of February 19, 2021, McDonald’s CEO Chris Kempczinski’s overall net worth was estimated at over $17.6 million. Perhaps the bigger question is: How much does Kempczinski earn as the head of one of the biggest fast-food chains in the world?
Kempczinski joined the McDonald’s team in 2015, working as president of U.S. business but fast-tracked to the CEO position in 2019. While his base salary for 2020 was $1.25 million, Kempczinski and other McDonald’s executives agreed to a temporary pay cut due to the effects of COVID-19. This pay cut brought his 2020 base earnings down to $963,500.
However, this base salary only reflects a small portion of Kempczinski’s overall compensation package. He also received $9.5 million in stocks and options along with an additional $383,000 in special perks, such as access to the private corporate plane. Combining his base salary with these stock options and perks brings his total compensation to more than $10.8 million.
That’s not all. Kempczinski had the potential to earn an additional $4.25 million as a performance bonus, but the company failed to meet its performance goals thanks to the global pandemic. In fact, McDonald’s profits were down 12.7% year-over-year, and net income dropped by over 21% from 2019 to 2020. Despite rebounding in Q4 2020, the gains weren't enough to help the company reach its performance goals.
Fortunately, 2021 seems to be a better year for the company. Kempczinski and his team had to make some tough decisions, such as raising menu prices by 6% to meet higher labor, food, and paper costs. However, this slight increase has paid off. Profits are up by more than 59%, and revenue for 2021 has breached the $23 billion mark, which is even higher than pre-pandemic levels.
McDonald’s stock is following suit by reaching its all-time highest closing stock price of $269.69 on January 6, 2021. This increase represents a nearly 30% jump compared to the $207.93 closing price from just a year ago.
It’s almost certain that Kempczinski receives a performance bonus this year along with his full base salary, additional perks, stocks, and options, which is likely to boost his net worth even higher.