The invasion of Ukraine has led many Western companies to suspend or exit Russia, and the latest to do so is McDonald’s, after three decades of operations.
NYTimes reports McDonald’s will sell its Russian book of business to a local buyer. The stores will be “de-arched,” meaning the new buyer will no longer use the McDonald’s logo.
Most of McDonald’s 847 restaurants in Russia are company-operated. It will write off between $1.2-$1.4 billion and recognize “foreign currency translation losses,” McDonald’s said.
“This is a complicated issue that’s without precedent and with profound consequences,” Chris Kempczinski, the chief executive of McDonald’s, told franchises in a letter that NYT obtained.
“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. And it is impossible to imagine the Golden Arches representing the same hope and promise that led us to enter the Russian market 32 years ago,” Kempczinski continued.
He added: “This was not an easy decision, nor will it be simple to execute given the size of our business and the current challenges of operating in Russia … But the end state is clear.”
Since Russian President Vladimir Putin invaded Ukraine on Feb. 24, Western companies have been pressured by their respective governments to cut ties with Russia. Energy companies, such as BP, Shell, and Exxon Mobile, have unwound their investments in the country.
From consumer goods and retail to finance to food to media to technology to travel and logistics to manufacturing, dozens of Western companies have either suspended operations or divested from Russia.
The local buyer of McDonald’s stores in Russia has yet to be announced.