Ells will step down as soon as the company finds a new chief executive to replace him.
Chipotle announced the change in leadership with a note that Ells will remain part of the company as its executive chairman.
The chain has been in a major sales slump since it was plagued by multiple food safety disasters beginning in the fall of 2015.
“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,” Ells said in the press release. “Simply put, we need to execute better to ensure our future success.”
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