Shares of Mexican grill burrito chain Chipotle were on fire in Tuesday trading after the company announced that Taco Bell’s CEO Brian Niccol would be the company’s new CEO.
Steve Ells, who founded the company and is the current CEO, will still stay on board as executive chairman.
The stock saw gains as high as 12% after the news was announced Tuesday morning.
Steve Ells commented, “Brian is a proven world-class executive, who will bring fresh energy and leadership to drive excellence across every aspect of our business. His expertise in digital technologies, restaurant operations and branding make him a perfect fit for Chipotle as we seek to enhance our customer experience, drive sales growth and make our brand more relevant.”
Niccol has been CEO of Taco since January of 2015 and was responsible for making Taco Bell a lifestyle brand and for the launch of the chain’s breakfast items.
Niccol remarked that he wants Chipotle to have “consistently great” customer experience and said, “I will also focus on dialing up Chipotle’s cultural relevance through innovation in menu and digital communications. This will attract customers, return the brand to growth, deliver value for shareholders and create opportunities for employees.”
Disclaimer: We have no position in Chipotle Mexican Grill, Inc. (NYSE: CMG) and have not been compensated for this article.