NEW YORK _ Chipotle, which is still hurting from food safety scares last year, is adding four new people to its board as the burrito chain tries to turn its business around.
The picks were made in agreement with activist investor Bill Ackman, whose firm Pershing Square is Chipotle’s biggest shareholder.
Shares of Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc. rose more than 2 per cent in midday trading Friday.
One of the new board members, Ali Namvar, is a Pershing partner. Matthew Paull, a former chief financial officer at burger chain McDonald’s Corp., is on Pershing’s advisory board. Pershing has a nearly 10 per cent stake in Chipotle. The other new members are Paul Cappuccio, an executive at media company Time Warner executive, and Robin Hickenlooper, an executive at cable company Liberty Global.
The additions bring Chipotle’s board to 12 members.
The board shake up comes on the same week the Denver-based company announced that founder Steve Ells would take over as sole CEO after serving as co-CEO with Monty Moran.
The company is in the midst of improving its customer service , a move it hopes will help it win back people who may be avoiding the chain after an E. Coli outbreak last year sickened some customers.
Its shares rose $9.20, or 2.4 per cent, to $391.55 in midday trading Friday. Its shares are down 31 per cent from a year ago.