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Chipotle names Chris Brandt CMO

Former Bloomin’ Brands executive succeeds Mark Crumpacker

Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc. has named Chris Brandt chief marketing officer, succeeding Mark Crumpacker, who resigned last week, the company said on Tuesday.

The Denver-based fast-casual chain said the appointment of Brandt, who most recently was chief brand officer of Bloomin’ Brands’ Outback Steakhouse, Carrabba’s, Bonefish Grill and Fleming’s concepts, would be effective April 2. He will report to Brian Niccol, who became Chipotle’s CEO on March 5.

Chris Brandt
Photo: Chipotle

"Chris is an extremely talented and effective marketing executive," Niccol said in a statement. "Having worked with Chris in the past, I have seen firsthand his ability to generate sales overnight and build brands over time. His experience and expertise make him an ideal fit for our leadership team at Chipotle as we look to reinvigorate this exceptional brand and build sales, transactions and profitability."

Prior to Bloomin’ Brands, Brandt served as chief brand and marketing officer at Yum! Brands Inc.’s Taco Bell, where he led marketing and food innovation.

At Taco Ball, Brandt oversaw such successful new product introductions as Doritos Locos Tacos and the Quesalupa, and new dayparts such as Happier Hour and breakfast. 

Before joining Taco Bell, he held senior marketing and brand development positions with Odwalla/Coca Cola and General Mills.

"I have admired the Chipotle brand both as a consumer and a marketer over the years," Brandt said. "I'm excited to join the company during this pivotal time and to work with the rest of the leadership team to help reignite the brand and increase relevance with consumers."

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 55 cents per share, the previous year. 

As of Dec. 31, Chipotle had 2,406 restaurants. 

Contact Ron Ruggless at [email protected]

Follow him on Twitter: @RonRuggless

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