Chipotle Mexican Grill announced the appointment of Jim Slater as the company’s managing director in Europe. Based in the U.K., Slater has made a career of building successful European brands, including Costa Coffee, Bombay Sapphire Gin, and Sunderland Association Football Club. As managing director at Chipotle, Slater will oversee the strategy, development, and growth of Chipotle’s European business.
“Jim not only believes in our commitment to change the way people think about and eat fast food, but he also celebrates our vision of building teams of top performers empowered to achieve high standards,” says Steve Ells, Chipotle founder, chairman, and co-CEO. “We have great confidence in his abilities and expertise, and believe his leadership will help us enhance and grow our business in Europe.”
Slater most recently served as the managing director of Costa Coffee in the U.K. and Ireland, overseeing 2,200 stores and more than a billion dollars in sales. At Costa, he was instrumental in the efforts that resulted in Costa becoming bigger in the U.K. than Starbucks, Nero, Pret a Manger and Eat combined. He and his team won Marketing Society’s “Brand of the Year” award in 2011, and became The Times’ “Brand of the Decade” in 2014. Slater laid a classic blue-chip career foundation with Mars, Kraft and Diageo before joining the soccer team he supported since childhood, Sunderland AFC, as commercial, and marketing director in 1998.
“Chipotle’s commitment to better food from ingredients raised and grown with respect for animals, farmers and the environment is consistent with how many Europeans eat and the brand is one that really resonates with customers here,” Slater says. “Looking at the success of Chipotle in the U.S., I know the company has tremendous opportunity in Europe and I look forward to continuing to develop the Chipotle brand in these markets.”