Chipotle CEO Steve Ells is stepping down amid food safety scandals, low sales, and, presumably, charging a premium for guacamole.
There's also been a flurry of restaurant mergers this year that have pushed up the prices of most of Chipotle's rivals.
"I am incredibly proud of Chipotle and our people - and grateful to our loyal customers - and while we are continuing to make progress, it is clear that we need to move faster to make improvements", said Ells.
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The company said Wednesday, Nov. 29, 2017, that Ells will step down from the CEO position as soon as it finds a replacement. He will be relegated to the role of executive chairman upon the completion of a search to replace him as CEO, the company said in a press release.
The departing CEO will now become executive chairman of the board. Since the start of the year, shares of Chipotle have sunk over 24%, including a 7.28% decline in the last 12-weeks.
The search committee at Chipotle tasked with finding a new CEO includes director Robin Hickenlooper, departing CEO Steve Ells and Pershing Square's Ali Namvar.
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Added Ells, "Bringing in a new CEO is the right thing to do for all our stakeholders".
"We remain as excited as ever about the future of the company", the firm told Bloomberg News. His firm, Pershing Square Capital Management, took a 10 percent stake in the restaurant chain previous year. The burrito chain said last month that it will continue to develop new menu items, including frozen margaritas and salads; retrain workers to better serve customers; and slow the number of new stores it opens next year to better focus on already opened restaurants. "We are committed to recruiting a world-class CEO for this incredible opportunity". But the company now has more than 2,350 restaurants-and hard problems.
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