Chipotle Mexican Grill, Inc. (NYSE:CMG) announced that Monty Moran, Co-CEO of the burrito chain will step down due to the recent E. Coli outbreak that crippled the company’s reputation and sales. Co- Chief Executive Steve Ells is to be appointed sole CEO following this change.
The company continues to struggle to recover customer base due to the food safety lapses that got several customers sick last year. “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,” lead director, Neil Flanzraich said in a statement Monday.
Moran is expected to retire in 2017 but until then he will be a board adviser. Chipotle hinted at Ells’ staff incentive program that would aid in customer experience. The burrito chain reported last week at an investor conference that the food safety program put in place after the E. coli outbreak had led to a drop in customer service quality.
In order to win back customers scared of the E. coli outbreak, Chipotle has introduced coupons, new menu items and even discounted meals. Sales have continued to disappoint but the company announced last week that there would be new board members soon.