Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc. -- which has spent a lot of time battling hits to its image in recent years -- now has a C-level executive to lead the charge.

The Denver-based food chain has hired Laurie Schalow as its first-ever chief communications officer.

She comes to Chipotle (NYSE: CMG) from Yum Brands Inc., parent of the Taco Bell, KFC, Pizza Hut and WingStreet food chains, where she was vice president of public affairs. Among her duties at Yum was crisis management.

Schalow will report directly to Chairman and CEO Steve Ells, overseeing all external and internal communication.

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