Despite rolling out several free food deals, fresh marketing campaigns, and numerous food safety measures as part of its comeback campaign this year, Chipotle is still struggling to lure customers back to its restaurants after last year's devastating food-borne illness crisis. In yet another move to regain its place in America's appetite, the company is making big changes at the very top.
On Monday, Chipotle announced that co-CEO Monty Moran is stepping down, making company founder Steve Ells the sole CEO and chairman of the burrito chain's board of directors. As explained in a report by The Wall Street Journal, the shakeup comes after the company faced criticism from investors over its longtime co-CEO model because of the high costs of paying two chief executives. Moran, who was paid $13.3 million as co-CEO last year, is also resigning from the board, effective immediately, and will retire from Chipotle in 2017, according to the company.
Ells, who founded Chipotle in 1993, recently revealed another major challenge the company is facing as it struggles to recover from the crisis: crappy customer service, due to its focus on improving food safety. In a statement, Ells said that as chairman and CEO, he will focus "relentlessly" on improving the guest experience, along with overseeing the company's strategic projects, operations, and other initiatives. Basically, having one CEO will help to streamline the company's efforts and overall message to both employees and customers.