Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc. tapped the head of Taco Bell as its next chief executive officer, turning to a fast-food veteran who drove growth with brash, indulgent dishes such as Doritos Locos Tacos.
Brian Niccol, 43, who had served as CEO of Yum! Brands Inc.'s Taco Bell division, will replace Chipotle founder Steve Ellsa dramatic changing of the guard that threatens to reshape the burrito chain's culture. Ells, who will remain chairman, began Chipotle in 1993 as an alternative to fast-food restaurants and the company has derided the kind of fare that Taco Bell sells.
Investors applauded the move, sending Chipotle shares as much as 13 percent in late trading.