Chipotle names new human resources leader

Zachary Russell
Digital Editor
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Ilene Eskenazi
Ilene Eskenazi will fill the new position later this month.

Chipotle Mexican Grill has announced a new addition to its corporate leadership.

Ilene Eskenazi has been named chief human resources officer, effective Nov. 27, and will report to chairman and CEO Brian Niccol. She joins Chipotle from Petco Health and Wellness Company, where she served as chief legal and human resources officer, overseeing compensation and benefits, human resources operations, talent management and all legal matters.

Prior to joining Petco in 2020, Eskenazi held positions including global general counsel and chief human resources officer at Boardriders, Inc. (previously Quiksilver, Inc.), chief legal officer and senior vice president of talent operations and performance at True Religion Apparel and more.

"Ilene's vast human resources experience and legal expertise will be instrumental in growing Chipotle's culture of people development and strengthening the organization as a best-in-class employer,” said Niccol. “This is critical in Chipotle delivering our mission of Cultivating a Better World and growing to 7,000 restaurants."

The C-suite appointment comes following Chipotle's late-August hiring push, with plans to open more than 250 new restaurant openings in 2023. Earlier this summer, Chipotle entered into a deal with international franchise retail operator Alshaya Group to open restaurants in the Middle East and accelerate its international expansion efforts.

"It is an honor to join an industry-leading organization that invests heavily in its purpose-driven workforce,” said Eskenazi. “I am eager to deliver on Chipotle's strategic priorities and look forward to positioning the company for even greater success."

Lois Alexis-Collins has also joined Chipotle, serving as chief people officer of field operations, and will report to Eskenazi. Collins previously served as VP of human resources at ABM, a facility solutions provider. Before that, Collins held the VP of human resources title at both Steak and Shake Inc. as well as Ruby Tuesday Inc.

Chipotle employs over 110,000 workers and operates more than 3,300 restaurants worldwide as of Sept. 30, 2023.