The company is also investigating allegations of possible misconduct within its human resources department, the spokesperson said.
The Wall Street Journal first reported the news on Tuesday.
“The Board will follow the facts wherever they may lead,” the company said in a statement emailed to CNN Business on Wednesday. “We will continue to make changes, where necessary, to support all parts of our organization.”
Fairhurst did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
This spring, McDonald’s hired Heidi Capozzi as its global chief people officer.
When she started in April, she initiated a review of the human resources department, according to the company spokesperson. The review includes examining how people are hired and evaluated, how employee concerns are investigated, and collecting feedback from employees about the company’s blind spots.
CEO Chris Kempczinski, who replaced Easterbrook, “installed a new Chief People Officer, announced refreshed values with input from employees around the world, and has committed to making these values part of everything we do,” the company said.