In 1993, Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc. (CMG) was founded in Denver as a means for former Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Steve Ells to save up for his dream of owning a fine-dining restaurant. Now Ells, along with many Chipotle insiders and institutional investors, have massive positions in the global fast-food chain, with a market capitalization of $41.59 billion as of Jan. 26, 2021.
When Ells left his job as a line cook at Stars Restaurant in San Francisco to start a burrito shop, he wasn't expecting that just five years later, fast food giant McDonald’s Corp. (MCD) would invest and acquire a minority interest in his Mexican food maker. As Chipotle rode a period of stellar growth, the company hit the public market in 2006, doubling its stock price within 24 hours.
Chipotle released Q3 2020 earnings on October 21, 2020. The Mexican food maker reported revenues of $1.6 billion for the quarter, a 14.1% increase from $1.4 billion over the same period the previous year.
Here are the four largest individual shareholders of Chipotle Mexican Grill.
Steve Ells is the founder and former CEO of Chipotle Mexican Grill. After launching the burrito shop in 1993 with money borrowed from friends and family, Ells was appointed as Chairman in 2005 and has served as a director since 1996. Prior to founding Chipotle, Ells, who holds a Bachelors of Arts degree from the University of Colorado, worked for two years at Stars Restaurant in San Francisco. As the leader of the personalized burrito, salad and taco maker, Ells has directed Chipotle to the forefront of a healthier, more environmentally friendly fast food segment. Under Ells, Chipotle has described itself as offering “naturally raised meat,” while promoting sustainable agriculture and refraining from the use of GMOs. As of Ells' most recent filing with the SEC on February 28, 2020, the former CEO owns 119,104 shares of Chipotle directly and another 112,259 shares indirectly through trusts.
Following several public health crises from food served at Chipotle, Ells felt that change in management was needed. "Bringing in a new CEO is the right thing to do for all our stakeholders," Ells said in a statement. "It will allow me to focus on my strengths, which include bringing innovation to the way we source and prepare our food. It will ultimately improve our ability to provide our guests with delicious food that is prepared with high quality ingredients that are raised responsibly and served in a way that is accessible to everyone."
On November 29, 2017, Ells announced he would be stepping down as CEO and on February 13, 2018, Chipotle announced that Brian Niccol would assume his position. Ells retained his position as Executive Chairman until March 2020, when he stepped down from the board of directors, and it's possible his position as top shareholder will change in the near future.
Montgomery "Monty" Moran
Montgomery Moran served as the Co-Chief Executive Officer of Chipotle Mexican Grill, Inc. from January 1, 2009 to December 2016 and also served as the company's Secretary until December 2016; he was also the company's President and COO prior to his promotion to Co-CEO. Per a May 11, 2016 filing with the SEC, Moran owns approximately 154,755 shares of the company, making him the second-largest individual shareholder of Chipotle.
Montgomery holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Colorado and a Juris Doctor degree, magna cum laude, from Pepperdine University School of Law.
Albert S. Baldocchi, Director at Chipotle, has been a self-employed financial consultant and strategic advisor for a number of privately held firms, particularly multi-unit restaurant companies. Seventeen years in the field has given Baldocchi an in-depth knowledge of restaurant finance and operations, while his previous career as a banker at institutions such as Morgan Stanley, Solomon Brothers and Montgomery Securities has geared him with capabilities in accounting and finance. Baldocchi's 71,689 shares make him Chipotle's third-largest individual shareholder, according to a June 5, 2020 filing from the SEC.
Baldocchi holds a Bachelor of Science degree in chemical engineering from the University of California at Berkeley and an MBA from Stanford University.
John "Jack" Hartung
John Hartung has been the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) at Chipotle since 2002 and Principal Accounting Officer since 2010. He has been with the restaurant chain for about a decade and a half, following 18 years at McDonald’s, where he held a myriad of positions, mostly recently as Vice President and CFO of its Partner Brands Group. Hartung is Chipotle's fourth-largest individual shareholder, with 47,225 shares of the company, according to an SEC filing dated February 28, 2020.
Hartung has a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting and Economics as well as an MBA from Illinois State University.