McDonald's Corporation

MCDNYSE
MCD
McDonald's CorporationNYSE
 
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Important events

May 172022

E-I-E-uh-oh

After more than three decades, the golden arches of McDonald’s are leaving Russia for good in light of “the humanitarian crisis in Ukraine”.

  • McDonald’s has made the decision to pull out of Russia permanently, three months after halting all operations in the region (along with a bunch of other consumer companies) amid the invasion of Ukraine in March. The company will sell off all of its 850 locations to a local buyer, who will also take care of its 62,000 employees.
  • The brand will record a write-off of up to $1.4bn due to “foreign currency translation losses” – hardly a surprise considering the Russian ruble has been on quite the rollercoaster ride recently. However, investors took the hit in their stride with prices remaining fairly stable, made easier by the fact that revenue losses will be light.
  • Old MacDonald has been facing increasing pressure from investors, consumers, and employees alike to exit Russia. The golden arches have long been a symbol of globalism and capitalism in the region, first appearing in 1990 as Cold War tensions thawed, and their departure is just as significant.
Milan Nykodym / Wikimedia Commons

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Mar 092022

US consumer companies pull out of Russia

There’s been another mass exodus of American consumer brands from Russia after many got major criticism for not doing so sooner.

🔍 Key points:

  • McDonald’s, Pepsi, Coca-Cola and Starbucks have all officially shuttered their Russian operations (temporarily) as pressure mounts to try and curb Putin’s power amid his invasion of Ukraine.
  • All four had been facing mounting pressure to halt operations, with consumers threatening to boycott products otherwise. The group joins an increasingly long list of firms to pull out of Russia, piling onto historically harsh sanctions from the Western world.
  • McDonald’s has long played a symbolic role in Russia. The golden arches appeared in 1990 for the first time, turning into a symbol of the thawing of Cold War tensions amid a collapsing Soviet Union – so much so that the term “McDonald’s peace theory” was formed. Now though, that peace is under threat.

In 1990 I was in the queue when McDonald's opened its 1st restaurant in Moscow: when iron curtains were crumbling & Russia was embracing the West. Today McDonald's announced it is temporarily closing its 850 restaurants in Russia. Hugely symbolic.