Steve Ells (born September 12, 1965) is an American businessman. He is the founder, former CEO, and Executive Chairman of Chipotle Mexican Grill. Ells founded Chipotle in 1993, and under his direction, the chain serves what it describes as "naturally raised meat" and promotes sustainable agriculture.
On November 29, 2017, Chipotle announced Ells' resignation as CEO, pending the search for a new CEO with "turnaround expertise". Ells will serve as executive chairman following the appointment of a new CEO, and will also serve on the CEO search committee. As of February 13, 2018, Brian Niccol has been named CEO of Chipotle Mexican Grill.
Ells was born in Indianapolis on September 12, 1965, the son of a pharmaceutical executive. He attended Boulder High School and the University of Colorado at Boulder where he received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Art History and became a member of the Delta Chi fraternity. Ells later enrolled at the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York, graduating in 1990.
- 1965-09-12) September 12, 1965 (age 54), Indianapolis, Indiana, U.S.
- Alma mater
- University of Colorado at Boulder (B.A.), Culinary Institute of America
- Years active
- Known for
- Founding Chipotle Mexican Grill
- Net worth