Saturday, July 2, 2016

Chipotle Buckles As Top Exec Harassed By Government

MarketWatch reports:
Efforts to regain customer trust at Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc. could suffer a setback as the restaurant chain placed its top marketing executive on administrative leave after Manhattan prosecutors unveiled an indictment involving the executive and a cocaine drug ring.

While the indictment, made public on Thursday, has nothing to do with Chipotle CMG, -2.20%  itself, the involvement of an executive seen as the architect of its efforts to win back wary diners could have a damping effect.

Mark Crumpacker, Chipotle’s chief creative and development officer, was one of 18 alleged buyers indicted in the drug ring and is expected to be arraigned in the coming days, according to a law-enforcement official.

Mr. Crumpacker, 53, couldn’t be reached for comment. His lawyer couldn’t immediately be identified.

The 18 alleged buyers are each charged with a single count of criminal possession of a controlled substance in the seventh degree, which is a misdemeanor offense.

Chipotle spokesman Chris Arnold said the company has placed Mr. Crumpacker on administrative leave. “We made this decision in order to remain focused on the operation of our business, and to allow Mark to focus on these personal matters. Mark’s responsibilities have been assigned to other senior managers in his absence.”

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