Brian Niccol is Chairman of the Board of Directors and Chief Executive Officer for Chipotle Mexican Grill (NYSE: CMG), which has over 2,600 company-owned restaurants and employs more than 85,000 people. He assumed the role of Chairman in March 2020, and under his leadership as Chief Executive Officer, a role he’s held since March 2018, Chipotle has seen accelerated comparable sales growth. Driving the brand’s purpose to Cultivate a Better World, Mr. Niccol has focused Chipotle’s growth strategy on increasing visibility, expanding access, fostering innovation and encouraging engagement with employees and consumers.
A leader and innovator in the food industry, Chipotle has received global recognition and honors during Mr. Niccol’s tenure including Newsweek magazine’s America’s Most Responsible Companies (2020), Fortune magazine World’s Most Admired Companies (2020), Forbes magazine Best Employers for Diversity (2019-2020), one of Comparably’s Best Companies for Culture, Diversity and for Women (2019).
Mr. Niccol has been placed on notable lists including Fortune’s ‘Businessperson of the Year’ (2019), Bloomberg’s ‘People who Defined 2019’ (The Bloomberg 50), Comparably’s ‘Best CEO’s (2019), Orange County Business Journal’s ‘Business People of the Year’ (2020), as well as named ‘Leader of the Year’ by Restaurant Business magazine (2020) and a ‘Distinguished Alumni’ by University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business (2020).
Prior to his current role, Mr. Niccol served as Chief Executive Officer of Taco Bell, a division of Yum! Brands. During his tenure at Taco Bell, Mr. Niccol was Chief Marketing and Innovation Officer and President. Mr. Niccol also held several executive positions at Pizza Hut, another division of Yum! Brands, including General Manager and Chief Marketing Officer. Before joining Yum! Brands, Mr. Niccol spent 10 years at Procter & Gamble, serving in various brand management positions.
Mr. Niccol currently serves on the board of Harley-Davidson in addition to the board of directors of The Chipotle Cultivate Foundation, Chipotle’s nonprofit organization. Mr. Niccol holds an undergraduate degree from Miami University and an MBA from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business.