Chipotle, the fast casual food chain that helped to redefine the category but then ran into a buzzsaw when it was plagued by a series of food safety issues, said yesterday that its founder and CEO, Steve Els, will step down and become executive chairman. The company said it is searching for a new CEO with “demonstrated turnaround expertise.”

The chain did have a co-CEO, Montgomery F. Moran, but he stepped down last year.

It is story about the move, the New York Times reports that Els “has drawn investor scrutiny over his compensation. He received nearly $15.7 million in total compensation last year, a slight raise from 2015 but a significant shave from the year before, when he earned $28.9 million.” Moran made the same kind of money during his tenure as co-CEO.

The Times notes that “Ells is part of the search committee formed to find his replacement.”

KC's View: This is an example of a business with foundational problems, and, more importantly, knowing it had foundational problems, and not doing anything about it because things just seemed to be going so well, and it is hard to make changes when a company has momentum. (This comes from Jackson Jeyanayagam, CMO of Boxed, who spoke about his experience as head of digital marketing at Chipotle during its food safety crisis in our recent Innovation Conversation podcast, available at the bottom of the pager.)

Chipotle has gone from golden child to turnaround project.

I have two words for the search committee: Jim Donald. (Then again, I think Jim would be great for almost every CEO job…)