Leadership

3 questions with Brian Niccol

The Chipotle CEO and Restaurant Leader of the Year talks about what has shaped him as a businessman and father.
Brian Niccol
Photograph by Christina Gandolfo

Chipotle Mexican Grill CEO Brian Niccol was named RB’s 2020 Restaurant Leader of the Year for leading Chipotle forward without forsaking the uniqueness that made the brand such a stunning initial success. Here, he talks about what has shaped him as a businessman and father.

Who were the individuals who shaped you?

One of the folks who had a huge impact on me was my dad. My dad really demonstrated to me what it meant to be a great father and to hold high expectations for yourself, whether it be personally or professionally. I saw him always being there for me, for friends and for family. I hope I’m as good a dad to my kids as he was to me.

What business out there, in the industry or out, inspires you?

One business that I think has been really phenomenal, that I truly admire, is Disney, with [CEO] Bob Iger. What he has done with that company and its ability to anticipate—most people would say, “Why is Disney getting into this?” They’ve really figured out how to reinvent themselves, and often find themselves leading in places you wouldn’t expect Disney to be leading.

What are your passions and interests?

My wife and I have been married now almost 20 years. She’s great, and I’m very fortunate that I have a partner in life like her. And I have three kids who keep me very humble. Personally, I love sports, and I love food. I’m always impressed with what people can do, in high-end restaurants all the way to the mom and pop shop.

Learn more about Brian Niccol, RB's 2020 Restaurant Leader of the Year.

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