Taco Bell to undergo leadership shuffle as CEO resigns

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"We believe Niccol brings highly relevant skill sets in the areas of marketing and operations that can help [Chipotle] to address the primary issues that have weighed on traffic trends since the late-2015 food safety incidents", Tarantino wrote.

As mentioned above, Chipotle Mexican Grill is having an incredibly strong start to the trading session this morning after the company announced that its Board of Directors has appointed a new CEO. He will replace the company's co-founder and executive chairman, Steve Ells, who stepped down as chief executive past year as the chain faced pressure related to food safety.

"His expertise in digital technologies, restaurant operations and branding make him a flawless fit for Chipotle as we seek to enhance our customer experience, drive sales growth and make our brand more relevant, " Ells, 52, said of Niccol. This growth of the firm was stopped by competition from new firms and a few serious food saftey incidences spoiling its reputation.

Niccol was responsible for introducing mobile ordering and payment at both Taco Bell and Pizza Hut and promised to deliver similar innovations to Chipotle. He succeeds M. Steven Ells, who founded the burrito chain in 1993 and will transition to an executive chairman role.

Chipotle was a success story early on. "I have tremendous respect for the Chipotle brand and its powerful goal", Niccol said.

"We're hard-pressed to find a better fit for Chipotle's CEO position than Brian Niccol", Morningstar analyst R.J. Hottovy said in a note.

Niccol was tapped as CEO after Greg Creed was promoted to CEO Yum Brands.

Chipotle just nabbed Taco Bell's top executive.

Through a prepared statement, Niccol said he wants Chipotle to provide customer service that is consistently great.

"[Niccol's] expertise in digital technologies, restaurant operations and branding make him a flawless fit for Chipotle as we seek to enhance our customer experience, drive sales growth and make our brand more relevant".

As Niccol departs, Julie Felss Masino, 47, president of Taco Bell North America, and Liz Williams, 42, president of Taco Bell International, are splitting his duties in their respective roles and will report to Yum!

Some are hoping Niccol speeds up the pace of menu development, adding breakfast, other new items and loyalty programs while also wooing back some of the younger customers who left the chain over the past couple of years. "Chipotle doesn't have another year to muddle around for change to occur".

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