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Email Content: Poultry Industry News, Comments and more by Simon M. Shane

Board of Chipotle Mexican Grill Reconstituted


The Board of Directors of Chipotle Mexican Grill has appointed Brian Niccol, CEO, to the additional position of Chairman with immediate effect.  Founder of Chipotle, Steve Ells, has stepped down as a director.  The Board will comprise seven directors, six of whom are independent. Two members will not stand for reelection to the Board at the 2020 Annual Meeting.  Neil Flanzraich will continue as the Lead Independent Director.


Appropriate adulatory comments accompanied the announcement of the departure of  Ells, who founded the chain in 1993. He served as CEO through rapid growth and then extreme adversity, quantified by a $16 billion decline in market capitalization. A sequence of foodborne infections inherent to the limited menu featuring uncooked ingredients and untrained staff were responsible for successive outbreaks of norovirus, salmonellosis and colibacillosis in addition to videos of scampering rodents. The problems at Chipotle were compounded by apalling management, alleged insider trading and a disengaged Board.

Brian Niccol CEO and Chairman Chipotle


Nicoll, who joined the company in February 2018 from Taco Bell, was responsible for changes in management, ousting many of the individuals appointed by the founder, relocating the headquarters to California, upgrading menus, introducing new procedures to promote food safety and motivating innovations including web-ordering and delivery.


Chipotle (CMG) has traded during the past 52-weeks over a range of $618 to $940 with a 50-day moving average of $850. Chipotle generated a 12-month trailing return on assets of 8.1 percent and 22.3 percent on equity. The operating margin was 8.6 percent and the profit margin 6.3 percent. Under the management of Niccol the market capitalization has almost doubled from $12 billion to $23 billion.

Copyright © 2020 Simon M. Shane