SEOUL, Jan. 21 (UPI) -- McDonald's Korea Managing Director Melanie Joh announced her resignation Monday, just days after she promised to improve the company in her New Year message.
The chief executive, who took charge of McDonald's Korea in 2016, announced her departure in a message to employees without elaborating on the reason. McDonald's officials said she quit because of personal reasons.
Joh's move comes months after the restart of an investigation into the so-called "hamburger patty scandal" in October.
The case began in 2017, when the mother of a little girl accused McDonald's Korea of being responsible for her child's kidney failure. She contended her daughter ate a McDonald's hamburger with an undercooked patty, causing her to suffer hemolytic uremic syndrome.
The syndrome is nicknamed hamburger disease because the strain causing it can be found in undercooked red meat.
Similar complaints followed, prompting prosecutors to launch an investigation. Citing lack of evidence, however, they opted not to file charges in early 2018.
But the case has continued to plague the fast-food chain as a group of activists requested reinvestigation into the controversial case in January last year.
During a parliamentary inspection last October, a lawmaker also raised suspicion that McDonald's might have urged its employees to make false remarks during the previous probes.
McDonald's Korea denied the allegations, but the prosecution began an investigation once again. In response, McDonald's Korea set up an emergency team headed by Joh.