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Friday, Jun 21, 2024
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HOSPITALITY/FOOD: BRIAN NICCOL

CEO, CHIPOTLE MEXICAN GRILL

WHY: Heads OC’s No. 2 restaurant chain with over $8.6B in systemwide sales. Former Taco Bell exec has overseen one of restaurant industry’s greatest turnarounds of late, with Chipotle’s stock increasing multiples since hiring.

IN THE NEWS: Chipotle became the most valuable publicly traded company based in OC in May, $51B market cap as of October. Chain testing three new automated food prep systems from its $50M venture fund at innovation center in Irvine. Added first-ever franchise partner in July to open first locations in Middle East.

NOTEABLE: Responsible for moving HQ from Denver to Newport Beach in 2018, shortly after his appointment as CEO. With more than 3,200 locations, now aims to build restaurant count to 7,000.

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