Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc. take-out food is arranged for a photograph in Tiskilwa, Illinois, U.S. (Photographer: Daniel Acker/Bloomberg)

New Chipotle CEO Deepens Cultural Shift With SoCal Headquarters

(Bloomberg) -- Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc. is cooking up some culture shock with its latest announcement -- a move to the West Coast.

The burrito seller -- which earlier this year named Taco Bell’s former chief executive officer, Brian Niccol, as its leader -- is moving its headquarters to Newport Beach, California, just miles from Taco Bell’s Irvine head office. With the relocation from Denver, Chipotle is trading in the city where its first restaurant opened 25 years ago for a state more known for its love of In-N-Out Burger.

“We’ll always be proud of our Denver roots,” Niccol said. “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.”

It’s also closing its New York City office, the company said in a statement Wednesday. The restaurant chain said the move will affect about 400 employees in Denver and New York in the fourth quarter. Some will be offered relocation and retention packages.

Niccol, who took the helm in March, is already shaking things up at Chipotle. He has partnered with DoorDash to offer delivery service and has said the chain is looking at doing drive-through restaurants. He’s also brought in new chief marketing officer Chris Brandt, another Taco Bell veteran.

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