Chipotle bids farewell to Denver, announcing plans to move headquarters to Southern California

Citing an opportunity for “growth,” Chipotle on Wednesday said they will close its Denver headquarters and move them to Newport Beach, California.
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Chipotle on Broadway and 6th. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite) chipotle; denver; colorado; denverite; kevinjbeaty

Chipotle on Broadway and 6th. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

Citing an opportunity for "growth," Chipotle on Wednesday announced it will close its Denver headquarters and move to Newport Beach, California, consolidating functions within the Denver offices there and in Chipotle's existing offices in Columbus, Ohio.

Chipotle will also close offices in New York. The move will affect 400 employees in Denver and in New York this year, according to the release. The Denver headquarters are located at 1401 Wynkoop St.

Some employees will be offered relocation, while some will receive retention packages. The 70,000 field operations and restaurant employees aren't part of the reorganization, according to the release.

Brian Niccol, chief executive officer at Chipotle, said in the release that the move provides "a tremendous opportunity at Chipotle to shape the future of our organization and drive growth through our new strategy."

"In order to align the structure around our strategic priorities, we are transforming our culture and building world-class teams to revitalize the brand and enable our long-term success," Niccol said in the release.

Chipotle first opened in Denver in 1993.

After the company's rocky 2015, which was marred by an outbreak of food-borne illness at its restaurants, it needed a comeback in 2016. That didn't pan out.

Instead, the company saw a revenue decrease and opened a poorly-received burger restaurant in Ohio. There were also lawsuits alleging the company fired an employee from a D.C. Location for being pregnant and misrepresented nutritional facts on its chorizo burrito. Then, in December 2016, its co-CEO Monty Moran stepped down.

The release Wednesday makes no mentions of the hardships.

"We'll always be proud of our Denver roots where we opened our first restaurant 25 years ago," Niccol said in the release. "The consolidation of offices and the move to California will help us drive sustainable growth while continuing to position us well in the competition for top talent."

The company plans on transitioning Denver and New York office operations to Newport Beach and Columbus over the next six months.

From the release:

"Newport Beach will serve as the headquarters for the company's operations, business development, marketing, communications, finance, supply chain, food safety, technology, HR and other corporate functions. The support functions will be located in the Shared Services Center in Columbus."

Consolidating shared services into the company's Columbus office will grow its workforces there from 100 to more than 250 employees, according to the release. Chipotle's chief finance officer Jack Hartun said in the release that consolidating these service into one location will benefit the company and its shareholders.

"Through technology and the consolidation of talent, we'll create a world class Shared Services Center with increased productivity and quality services supporting our employees and our restaurants," Hartun said in the release.

A special investor call is scheduled for 4:15 pm. ET June 27.

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