Jade Eckardt 16 Aug 2017 // 4:53PM GMT
DENVER— Chipotle Mexican Grill has appointed Laurie Schalow into the newly created role of chief communications officer as the burrito chain continues to grapple with fallout from its food safety issues.
Schalow reports directly to Chipotle founder/CEO Steve Ells and oversees all facets of the restaurant's internal and external comms functions. This is the second major communications shakeup for the chain since its 2015 E.coli breakout. In early 2016, the company brought on Burson-Marsteller as its US PR agency of record after parting ways with longtime agency Edelman.
Last month, Chipotle shares dipped after analysts cut stock price targets and questioned the company's new strategy of raising its prices, meanwhile the chain also faced new food safety scares
"We have been actively working to strengthen our leadership team to better prepare Chipotle for continued growth and success," said Ells. "Laurie is an extremely talented executive, and I am confident that her broad expertise will help to strengthen our communications and better integrate all of our internal and external communications functions to amplify our messages."
Schalow joins Chipotle after six years at Yum Brands, where she was most recently vice president of public affairs. There, she directed global PR, corporate social responsibility, crisis management, social listening and community diversity programs. Prior to Yum!, she spent nearly six years at KFC as senior director, public affairs. Before that, she was public affairs director at Taco Bell for nearly 12 years.
"There is a considerable opportunity ahead for Chipotle, and I am thrilled to join the company to help shape and strengthen its strategic communications in support of a very important vision to make great tasting food, made with real, whole ingredients available to everyone," said Schalow.