Five months after announcing its new downtown Denver headquarters, Chipotle Mexican Grill is moving to Newport Beach, California. The 25-year-old Denver business on Wednesday announced that, over the next six months, all operations from its current headquarters will be relocated to Newport Beach as well as an existing services center in Columbus, Ohio. Chipotle will then close its New York City and Denver offices, and around 400 employees will be affected, with some offered relocation and retention packages.
“We’ll always be proud of our Denver roots where we opened our first restaurant 25 years ago,” Chipotle’s new chief executive officer Brian Niccol said in a press release. “The consolidation of offices and the move to California will help us drive sustainable growth while continuing to position us well in the competition for top talent.” Niccol said the move is part of a larger plan to transform Chipotle’s culture and “revitalize the brand.” Formerly CEO of Taco Bell, he replaced Chipotle’s founder Steve Ells as the burrito chain’s chief officer on March 5.
Back in December, the company had announced plans to move into five floors of the new 40-story office tower 1144 Fifteenth in downtown Denver. The move was expected to happen by late 2018. This latest pivot for the burrito business follows a few years of company setbacks from food-borne illnesses to lawsuits and federal investigations. Founder Steve Ells opened the first Chipotle in 1993 near the University of Denver. He announced he would step down as CEO in November.
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