As the company strives to calibrate amongst the challenge facing its operations, Chipotle has announced a harkening back to its roots. The company has stated it is discarding its current Co-CEO structure, with Steve Ells remaining as Chipotle’s sole CEO and Monty Moran to step down in early 2017.
“Chipotle is based on a very simple idea: We start with great ingredients, prepare them using classic cooking techniques, and serve them in a way that allows people to get exactly what they want,” said Ells. “Even though it’s a simple idea, operations have become over-complicated. I’m very much looking forward to relentlessly focusing on ensuring an excellent guest experience, removing unnecessary complexity from our operations, championing innovation, and pursuing our mission of making better food accessible to more people.”
Ells founded the company in 1993 and has served as Chipotle CEO since. Ells brought on Moran to serve in the co-capacity in 2009 from his previous position as General Counsel. According to The Motley Fool, Moran oversaw store operations and helped to develop Chipotle’s corporate counsel.
“Steve founded Chipotle more than 23 years ago with a powerful vision to use great ingredients prepared skillfully by hand, but served very fast,” said Neil Flanzraich, Lead Independent Director of Chipotle’s board. “This approach has proven to be a very successful formula, but as the company grew, operations became more complicated and less consistent. 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. This will ensure that his high standards for the guest experience and his unyielding commitment to the company’s mission are top priorities.”
During a conference call after the initial announcement, Ells stated that the keystone to his new plans as sole CEO revolve around simplifying everything that is done in-store to improve customer experiences.
Ells will also serve company Chairman. In both of these roles, Ells will reportedly focus on pursuing employee incentives that tie more closely to the guest experience, as stated in a press release. The company stated that Ells will also re-envision the Restaurateur program for its General Managers to become more accessible and guest-focused.
"I’d also like to thank Monty for his extraordinary contributions to Chipotle over the years. Monty inspired us with his vision for an enlightened people culture, and I wish him the best as he retires from the company,” Ells said.
It seems as though streamlining operations as the latest strategy for company success, with Whole Foods also announcing that it was ditching its Co-CEO structure to return to a sole leader.
As companies continue to shift leadership strategies for streamlined service, count on Deli Market News for the latest.