Taco Bell Picks 2 Leaders

Feb 16, 2018, 02:54
Taco Bell Picks 2 Leaders

Ells, who will remain chairman, began Chipotle in 1993 as an alternative to fast-food restaurants and the company has derided the kind of fare that Taco Bell sells.

David Tarantino, senior research analyst at Robert W. Baird & Co., said in a note Wednesday that Niccol (left) was a strong choice to lead 2,408-unit Chipotle, given his track record as CEO of 6,849-unit Taco Bell since 2015.

"Niccol needs to challenge the heritage thinking that has paralyzed this brand for two years", Scott said. Prior to this role, Williams was the Taco Bell CFO, where the brand delivered six years of industry-leading sales, profit and brand growth under her financial leadership, according to the release. The new chief executive officer will be Brian Niccol, who ran Taco Bell for three years and met sweet success courting crowds with indulgent dishes such as Doritos Locos Tacos and A.M. Crunch Wraps.

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Ells announced plans to step down as CEO last November, following a challenging couple of years for Chipotle.

Chipotle credited Niccol with expertise in digital technology, branding and restaurant operations. Niccol is slated to replace Chipotle founder Steve Ells in the top job as of March 5.

Niccol helped worldwide system sales climb by 7% at Taco Bell in 2017.

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Shares of Chipotle were up 11 per cent at US$279 (RM1,098.98) in extended trading.

The news, which came after markets closed, sent Chipotle share prices up by as much as 12%. Niccol was responsible for repositioning Taco Bell as a lifestyle brand and launching the chain's breakfast offerings.

A spokesperson from activist investor Bill Ackman's firm, Pershing Square Capital Management called Niccol "the right leader to reinvigorate the company".

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Julie Felss Masino, 47, president of Taco Bell North America, and Liz Williams, 42, president of Taco Bell International, will assume leadership of the Taco Bell Division in their respective roles, according to Yum! The chain also hinted it may be testing new menu items - a fast-food strategy that Chipotle has long refused to try. They've also said Chipotle should hire more employees to relieve pressure on existing staff, which has been under duress and has had to deal with an increase in responsibilities since the food-safety issues arose.