Chipotle names fresh boss in turnaround bid

A sign marks the location of a Chipotle restaurant on October 25, 2017 in Chicago, IllinoisImage copyright
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Chipotle Mexican Grill has named a fresh chief executive as the idea seeks a turnaround after a series of food safety incidents.

The burrito chain said Brian Niccol, who was most recently chief executive at Taco Bell, will start inside fresh role on 5 March.

Chipotle founder Steve Ells, who served as its chief executive, will become executive chairman.

Shares in Chipotle surged more than 11% in after-hours trading in fresh York.

Mr Ells founded Chipotle in 1993 in Colorado as well as also guided the company as the idea expanded to about 2,400 restaurants, including 37 outside the US.

The firm rode a surge of interest in more upmarket fast food restaurants, yet stumbled in recent years as the idea faced competition via newer chains as well as also a series of food safety incidents that will hurt the firm’s reputation.

Last year, Chipotle also suffered a security breach involving customer payment data, while fresh menu additions did not entice diners as the idea had hoped.

Sales in 2017 reached almost $4.5bn, after declining the prior year, yet profits remained far shy of their previous levels.

In November, Chipotle said the idea was searching for a fresh chief executive.

Mr Niccol started off at Yum! Brands’ Taco Bell in 2011, becoming chief executive of the 7,000-restaurant chain in 2015.

In its announcement, Chipotle cited Mr Niccol’s experience with digital technology, restaurant operations as well as also branding.

Mr Ells said the board is usually confident that will he will “make the bold moves needed to improve operations as well as also take the company to the next level, all while remaining true to our purpose as well as also the values that will are essential to our customers.”

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