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Chipotle chief marketing and strategy officer resigns

Mark Crumpacker will receive half of base annual salary and $600K retention bonus

Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc. chief marketing and strategy officer Mark Crumpacker will resign effective Thursday, the company said in a Securities and Exchange Commission filing on Wednesday.

Crumpacker will receive 26 weeks of his base salary and will keep a $600,000 retention bonus that Chipotle executives signed in January, according to the SEC filing.

“On or around Jan. 5, 2018, Crumpacker entered into a retention agreement, whereby he would receive $600,000 for remaining continuously employed with Chipotle through Jan. 5, 2019,” the company said in its filing. “Such retention bonus would vest if Crumpacker was terminated without ‘cause.’ Crumpacker is being terminated without cause.”

Crumpacker (left), who pleaded guilty to misdemeanor drug possession charges last year stemming from a New York City cocaine-ring investigation in 2016, had worked with Denver-based Chipotle since 2009.

His resignation came a week after Brian Niccol, former CEO of Irvine, Calif.-based Taco Bell Corp., took over as Chipotle’s CEO. Former Chipotle CEO Steve Ells announced his resignation in November. He remains executive chairman of the company he founded in 1993.

Crumpacker oversaw Chipotle’s branding and efforts to overcome a series of foodborne illness outbreaks linked to the chain in 2015. As a result, same-store sales fell in 2016 and remained sluggish in 2017.

For the fourth quarter ended Dec. 31, Chipotle’s same-store sales increased 0.9 percent, which the company partially attributed to menu price increases. Net income for the quarter was $43.8 million, or $1.55 per share, compared with $16 million, or $0.55 per share, the previous year.

Chipotle had 2,406 restaurants as of Dec. 31, 2017.

Contact Ron Ruggless at [email protected]

Follow him on Twitter: @RonRuggless

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