Chipotle Mexican Grill announced Feb. 13 that its board of directors has appointed Brian Niccol as chief executive officer and a member of the board, effective March 5, 2018. Niccol most recently served as CEO of Yum! Brands' Taco Bell Division, where he was responsible for the highly successful turnaround of the business.
Chipotle chairman, CEO and founder Steve Ells, who will become executive chairman, said, "Brian is a proven, world-class executive who will bring fresh energy and leadership to drive excellence across every aspect of our business. His expertise in digital technologies, restaurant operations and branding make him a perfect fit for Chipotle as we seek to enhance our customer experience, drive sales growth and make our brand more relevant. The board is confident that Brian's passion and skill set ideally position him to make the bold moves needed to improve operations and take the company to the next level, all while remaining true to our purpose and the values that are essential to our customers."
Niccol said, "I am very excited to be joining Chipotle at this pivotal time in its history. I have tremendous respect for the Chipotle brand and its powerful purpose. At Chipotle's core is delicious food, which I will look to pair up with consistently great customer experiences.”
Niccol said he will also focus on dialing up Chipotle's cultural relevance through innovations in menu and digital communications in order to “attract customers, return the brand to growth, deliver value for shareholders and create opportunities for employees."