New Chipotle CEO graduated from a Dayton-area college

Updated March 22, 2018
  • By Max Filby
  • Staff Writer
Chipotle Mexican Grill in Monroe, Ohio, GREG LYNCH / STAFF Customers visit the Chipotle Mexican Grill in Monroe during the lunch time rush, Thursday, Dec. 10, 2015. Unconfirmed cases of E. Coli have been reported at Chipolte locations in Ohio and other states. GREG LYNCH / STAFF

Chipotle Mexican Grill has hired a new chief executive officer and he has roots in southwest Ohio.

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Chipotle has named Taco Bell’s Brian Niccol as its next leader, replacing Steve Ells, who built the fast-casual food chain.

Brian Niccol, new Chipotle CEO. Photo: Staff Writer

Niccol is a 1996 graduate of Miami University, just an hour from Dayton.

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Niccol, 43, graduated from Miami’s college of engineering and computing, serves on the advisory council of Miami’s Farmer School of Business and is a member of the college’s Phi Delta Theta fraternity, according to the university. He started his career at Procter and Gamble in marketing.

Niccol replaced Ells on March 5 after Ells announced in November that he planned to step down.

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Niccol has been in charge of Taco Bell since 2015, according to reports. He is known as the person who brought the Doritos Locos Tacos and mobile ordering to Taco Bell.

Chipotle’s brand has suffered over the last few years as the company tries to recover from E.coli, norovirus and Salmonella outbreaks that got customers sick and shrunk burrito sales.