Chipotle names new executives

Executive Summary: A roundup of high-level job changes in the restaurant business includes a new executive for Dig.
Scott Nicholson, Lois Alexis-Collins and  Mark Kupferman.
Scott Nicholson, Lois Alexis-Collins and  Mark Kupferman. | Photos courtesy of Dig, Chipotle and CEC Entertainment, LLC.

Executive Summary

Ilene Eskenazi on Nov. 8 was named chief human resources officer for Chipotle Mexican Grill, serving on the executive leadership team. She starts the job on Nov. 27 and will report to CEO Brian Niccol. Ezkenazi worked previously with Petco Health and Wellness Co., where she was chief legal and human resources officer. 

 In addition, Lois Alexis-Collins has joined Chipotle as chief people officer, field operations, reporting to Ezkenazi. Alexis-Collins previously served as vice president of human resources at ABM. Before that, she was vice president of human resources for both Steak & Shake Inc. and Ruby Tuesday Inc. Her resume also includes stints with Darden Restaurants and Waffle House. 

New York-based Dig has named Scott Nicholson to the role of chief operating officer. Described as a “boots-on-the-ground operator who prefers working in the field,” Nicholson was previously the COO forPokeworks, and he has served as vice president of operations for Veggie Grill. 

Mark Kupferman is the new chief insight and marketing officer of CEC Entertainment LLC, parent of Chuck E. Cheese and the virtual brandPasqually’s Pizza & Wings. Kupferman was most recently the chief commercial officer at Ruth’s Chris Steak House, and, before that, he was vice president of consumer and guest experience at Six Flags Entertainment. 

Ruby Slipper has promoted Lakeisha Britten to the role of regional director of operations. Britten joined the company in 2018 as an assistant general manager for the Baton Rouge location and was promoted to general manager in less than a year. In 2021, she was promoted to district manager. In her new role, she will oversee Baton Rouge, Old Metairie, the Marigny and the newest Metairie location.

Shipley Do-Nuts has named Brad Reynolds to the role of CFO. Previously he served as the CFO at Blaze Pizza and Smashburger. In the new role, Reynolds will work with the executive team to grow the brand. In addition, Chris Smith joins the chain as VP of Operations. Smith previously held leadership roles with brands including Eskimo Hut, Rave Restaurant Group and Smashburger.

Pink Taco has named David Miller chief operating officer. Miller brings nearly two decades of leadership experience to the role. He has worked with brands such as Hard Rock, Carmines, City Winery and Joe’s Crab Shack. Most recently, he served as chief business officer at Alicart Restaurant Group. In his new role, he will oversee operational strategy, financial management, quality control and human resources.

Also this week, Noodles & Company reported that Dave Boennighausen is leaving his position as CEO, effective immediately. Former Panera Bread President Drew Madsen was named CEO on an interim basis while the company looks for a permanent replacement.

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