Chipotle Cuts Back To Only One CEO

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Burrito eatery Chipotle is trying to come back from a food safety crisis and an ensuing lack-of-customers crisis, and the company’s investors have been pushing for leadership changes. Today, it announced plans to cut back to only one chief executive officer: co-CEO Monty Moran is stepping down from his position immediately, and retiring from the company in 2017.

Moran is an attorney who began his career with Chipotle as its general counsel. He was named president and chief operating officer in 2005, then promoted to co-CEO status with founder Steve Ells in 2009.

“Given the ongoing challenges facing the company, the board felt strongly that it was best for Steve to resume leadership of the company going forward,” the board’s lead director, Neil Flanzraich, said in a statement issued with the announcement. “This will ensure that his high standards for the guest experience and his unyielding commitment to the company’s mission are top priorities.”

Reuters reported a few months ago that two investors were seeking to have Ells removed as chairman of the company’s board, a position that he’s held since 2005.

Steve Ells, you may recall, just noted at an investors conference in New York that the chain needs to step up its food, customer service, and overall restaurant experience if it wants returning and new customers to keep coming back, since it can’t keep giving away food indefinitely.

“I’m particularly not satisfied with the quality of experience in some of our restaurants,” he observed, noting that lines have slowed down.

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