With the addition of a chief legal officer and chief development officer, Chipotle’s revamped leadership team is complete. The fast casual announced both hires December 13, which completes an executive overhaul started when chief executive Brian Niccol joined Chipotle in March.
Roger Theodoredis, previously at Danone North America as general secretary with responsibility for legal, public affairs, communications, scientific affairs, and corporate security, is taking the legal role. Tabassum Zalotrawala, who last worked as CDO and VP design, construction, facilitates, and strategic sourcing at Panda Restaurant Group, is taking Chipotle’s CDO reins. Zalotrawala also previously worked at Arby’s Restaurant Group, first as a franchisee and later focusing on store development and franchisee support.
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"I am energized about having such a world-class executive leadership team in place to accelerate our strategic goals. Roger and Tabassum are perfect additions to the team, and their experience will be essential as Chipotle focuses on winning today and cultivating a better future," Niccol said in a statement. "I'm confident that this team will lead Chipotle's culture of purpose, innovation, and accountability to deliver new levels of growth and value for customers and shareholders."
Chipotle’s full leadership:
- Brian Niccol, chief executive officer
- Steve Ells, founder and executive chairman
- Marissa Andrada, chief people officer
- Scott Boatwright, chief restaurant officer
- Chris Brandt, chief marketing officer
- Curt Garner, chief digital and information officer
- Jack Hartung, chief financial officer
- Laurie Schalow, chief communications officer
- Roger Theodoredis, chief legal officer
- Tabassum Zalotrawala, chief development officer
The chain said the new group would be focused on five strategic focus areas:
- Becoming a more culturally relevant and engaging brand that builds love and loyalty
- Digitizing and modernizing our restaurant experience to create a more convenient and enjoyable guest experience
- Running great restaurants with great hospitality and throughput
- Being disciplined and focused to enhance our powerful economic model
- Building a great culture that can innovate and execute across digital, access, menu, and the restaurant experience
Chipotle reported a solid third quarter in October, nearly doubling its earnings per share and expanding restaurant margins to 18.7 percent from 16.1 percent. Same-store sales rose 4.4 percent, year-over-year, and revenue upped 8.6 percent to $1.2 billion. The EPS of $2.16 per share, compared with $1.33 a year ago, beat Wall Street’s call for $2.01.
Chipotle has made a host of change to go along with these executive moves, including piloting a loyalty app, tapping Zeput for a new food-safety platform, launching direct delivery and expanding third-party reach, installing digital pick-up shelves, testing new menu items, adding second make-lines in hundreds of restaurants, moving HQ to Southern California, and launching a new marketing campaign and tagline that highlights its ingredient-driven mission. And there’s no reason to assume Chipotle’s progress will slow down in the near future.