With the Chipotle stock (NYSE ticker: CMG) having plummeted over the last few years, I was shocked to see the stock up 12% last month. After doing some research, I learned that Brian Niccol, the CEO of Taco Bell, had been named the new CEO of Chipotle, replacing Steve Ells who became the executive chairman for the company. Following multiple scares of food contaminated by noroviruses and E. coli, not much was in favor of the once-booming company stock, which peaked over $700, and now trades around $320. However, the company outlook, as indicated by market analysts, appears to look positive following Niccol's recent appointment. His rebranding of Taco Bell as a "lifestyle choice" and introduction of innovative menu items such as Doritos Locos Tacos and Nacho Fries allowed for significant expansion and revenue increases during his tenure at Taco Bell. 

"You’ve got a guy with tremendous credibility," said Howard Penney, managing director at Stamford, Conn.-based research firm Hedgeye Risk Management." He's young. He brought a youthful vision to Taco Bell. He knows the industry and operations. He's very creative. That’s what Chipotle needs. This is a great company and a great brand. They needed new blood."

Many wonder if Niccol truly belongs in a scene of natural ingredients and health foods with the fast food track record he maintains from the likes of Taco Bell and Pizza Hut. There is no question that this fresh perspective and ability to implement new technologies and menu creations will be drivers for economic growth at Chipotle. 

Gillian Cazzoli