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Starbucks CIO makes quick-service landing


Curt Garner, who first announced he would leave his current role as CIO of Starbucks Corp. in June, has revealed his next professional stop.

Garner will join Chipotle Mexican Grill as CIO effective Nov. 23, and become the company’s first executive with that title. Chipotle appears to want to duplicate some of the IT-related success Starbucks has had in areas such as store operations and customer experience.

“We are changing the way people think about and eat fast food,” said Steve Ells, founder, chairman and co-CEO of Chipotle. “Inherent in that vision is our quest to provide the very best restaurant experience we can. As we look for ways to create efficiencies in our restaurants and improve the customer experience through the strategic use of technology, Curt’s experience and expertise make him an ideal and welcome addition to our management team.”

Garner has served at Starbucks in variety of positions in the IT group throughout his 18 years with the company. During his tenure at Starbucks, Garner’s helped develop the retailer’s global infrastructure. Prior to joining Starbucks, Garner held a technology leadership position at Wendy’s International Inc.

“Chipotle is a tremendous company with and important mission and remarkably loyal customers,” said Garner. “I am thrilled to join such a dynamic organization at a time when investments in technology infrastructure can help the company create a technology platform that is on par with the leadership they have already established in terms of their food culture, people culture, and unit economic model.”

In his new role at Chipotle, Garner will report to Jack Hartung, CFO at Chipotle.

While Chipotle is staying within the general food service vertical to find its new IT leader, Starbucks took a different approach in replacing Garner. Gerri Martin-Flickinger, who previously served as senior VP and CIO of Adobe, will assume the role of Starbuck’s first-ever CTO effective Nov. 2.

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