McDonald's has announced that it has parted company with CEO Steve Easterbrook after he showed "poor judgement" by engaging in a "consensual relationship" with an employee.

Mr Easterbrook has been replaced by Chris Kempczinski, the president of McDonald's USA.

"Easterbrook... has separated from the company following the board's determination that he violated company policy and demonstrated poor judgement involving a recent consensual relationship with an employee," the company said in a statement.

There were no additional details of the move - including whether Mr Easterbrook was fired or allowed to resign.

Mr Kempczinski "has the right mix of skills and experience to lead us forward having run our US business, where franchisees are delivering strong financial and operational results, and overseen global strategy, business development and innovation," the company quoted Enrique Hernandez Jr, chairman of McDonald's board of directors, as saying.

In its most recent earnings report, on 22 October, McDonald's said profits dipped 1.85 in the third quarter from the year-ago period to $1.6 billion. Revenues edged up 1.1% to $5.4bn.

The fast-food giant notched a healthy 5.9% increase in global comparable sales, including a solid rise in the United States. 

However profits were pressured by increased spending on technology and research and development.

McDonald's has invested heavily in home-delivery and mobile pay initiatives in recent years, and in 2019 has unveiled a number of acquisitions to boost its drive-through operation.