It may be time for bruised and battered Chipotle (CMG) to rally behind the vision of a single leader.
The better-burrito joint has had a co-CEO structure since promoting Monty Moran from President and Chief Operating Officer in January 2009 to serve alongside founder Steve Ells. Moran, a lawyer by trade and long-time friend of Ells, was there at Chipotle's founding.
As is recalled fondly on the website of Moran's former employer Messner & Reeves, one day back in the early 1990s Moran was asked by Ells to sample a new burrito recipe. Moran allegedly tasted the creation and promptly said, "You out to sell these things."
Ells wasted no time taking his bestie's advice. In 1993, Ells took his recipes and opened a small burrito joint in Denver, Colo. By 1997, with five stores up and running, Ells reportedly reached out to Moran -- who was practicing law at Messner & Reeves -- for business and legal advice.
After Moran had led so much of Chipotle's strategy over the years, the website says, he joined Chipotle as President and Chief Operating Officer in 2005. And, on Jan. 26, 2006, Moran found himself ringing the bell to open trading at the New York Stock Exchange as Chipotle became a public company. Since then, many on Wall Street have held that Ells -- a classically trained chef -- was in charge of Chipotle's push to source better ingredients, while Moran handled operations, growth plans and developing what it calls a "unique people culture."