Chipotle founder Steve Ells takes over as sole CEO

Posted at 8:17 AM, Dec 12, 2016

DENVER -- Chipotle Mexican Grill on Monday named founder Steve Ells as the sole CEO of the burrito chain as it fights to recover from a series of food scares.

Its shares rose 1.5 percent in morning trading.

Ells had been co-CEO with Monty Moran, who is stepping down from that position and from his seat on the board of directors. Moran will retire from the company in 2017.

Ells, who founded the company more than 23 years ago, will also remain chairman of the board of directors.

The change at the top comes as Chipotle's sales and customer traffic continue to suffer indigestion more than a year after an E. coli outbreak first surfaced in 2015. Since then, activist investor Bill Ackman's Pershing Square Capital has taken a nearly 10 percent stake in the chain.

Chipotle was founded in 1993. The company's headquarters are in Denver.


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