McDonald’s Decides To Officially Exit Russia After 30 Years

McDonald’s announced its official departure from Russia after over 30 years of operations.

The fast-food giant has started selling off its 850 restaurants and revealed it was leaving Russia permanently after closing “temporarily” in March.

McDonald’s Chief Executive Chris Kempczinski wrote a message to staff and suppliers saying that the decision was due to the “humanitarian crisis” and “unpredictable operating environment” caused by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

The company’s first outlet in Moscow opened in 1990 as a symbol of amelioration in Cold War tensions. However, nearly three decades later, it joins a growing number of brands and corporations that have decided to cease operations in the country.

“This is a complicated issue that’s without precedent and with profound consequences,” Kempczinski stated.

McDonald’s chief executive said some would probably argue that continuing to employ citizens and provide access to food would be the right thing to do. But it was impossible to ignore the humanitarian crisis caused by the war, he added.

“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,” he went on.

The world-renowned fast-food chain said it would retain its trademarks in Russia, but would sell all its outlets to a local buyer. Also, it plans to start the process to “dearch” its restaurants by removing its distinctive logo, branding, name and menu from its sites.

McDonald’s chief executive also said the company had committed to ensuring that its employees in Russia, numbering 62,000, continued to be paid until any sale was completed. Also, its priorities include helping its workers find future employment with “any potential buyer.”

The famous chain joins a large group of international brands that have left the country or suspended operations there since the Kremlin ordered the Russian armed forces to invade neighboring Ukraine. The list includes Coca-Cola, Starbucks, Levi’s, and Apple.

Recently, the French firm Renault revealed that it would sell its business in Russia. Later, the Russian government said that the company’s local assets had been nationalized and had become state property.