Chipotle loses its chief marketing officer

Here's how Chipotle got 500 people sick
Here's how Chipotle got 500 people sick

Chipotle executive Mark Crumpacker, who made news in 2016 for pleading guilty to misdemeanor cocaine possession, has resigned from the burrito company, according to an SEC filing.

Crumpacker served as the company's Chief Marketing and Strategy officer and had been with Chipotle (CMG) for nine years.

Chipotle, which last week installed former Taco Bell head Brian Niccol as CEO, did not give a reason for Crumpacker's resignation. But it did say his departure was not related to his drug arrest from 2016.

Crumpacker's lawyer Gerald Lefcourt told CNNMoney that the case was dismissed months ago. The charges were dropped in January, according to Chipotle.

Lately the company has been battling a string of bad news, including a series of health scares at locations across the country.

Crumpacker was in charge of marketing when Chipotle tried various campaigns to rebound its flagging brand. It adding queso to its menu last year, but that failed to resonate with fans even when they gave the cheese sauce away for free. The company also gave away free guacamole and chips during the height of the health scare in 2016, along with $50 discounts on catering. But the freebies proved too costly.

He will exit the company on March 15, and receive a bonus payment of $600,000. The company had agreed to pay retention bonuses to Crumpacker and CFO Jack Hartung if they agreed to stay for at least a year after a new CEO was hired, according to an SEC filing from January.

He'll also receive $300,000 -- or half a year's salary -- as part of a previously negotiated post employment agreement, according to Chipotle.

The company would not say whether they've chosen a replacement.

Related: Chipotle executive busted for drug possession, charges eventually dropped

Chipotle's stock has lost more than half its value since 2015.

The company was hit hard by a series of E. coli outbreaks that sickened hundreds of people around the country, causing massive dips in profit in 2016.

The problem has continued to dog the company as recently as December 2017, when an outbreak sickened employees at a restaurant in Los Angeles.

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