Chipotle hires first chief information officer away from Starbucks

There's a bit of a CXO musical chairs game going on in the big food space.

High-tech companies are no longer alone in staffing up their C-Suites with chief information officers as more industries aim to boost brainpower.

Chipotle has hired its first ever chief information officer, who happens to hold the same position over at one of the biggest players in the food business -- one that happens to have responded actively to social media and mobile commerce trends.

That company would be Starbucks.

The Mexican grill-inspired fast food chain announced on Monday that it has hired Curt Garner as CIO, effective November 23.

It's a big move for Garner considering he's been with the Seattle-based coffee giant since 1998 as director of international IT.

Holding a number of leadership positions overseeing global market tech strategies for Starbucks, Garner lead development for point-of-sale solutions, loyalty programs and other retail tech deployment options.

Garner hinted at his future agenda at Chipotle in Monday's announcement, noting he wants to help "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."

Chipotle founder, chairman and co-CEO Steve Ells added the chain -- now spanning more than 1,850 locations -- is looking for new "ways to create efficiencies in our restaurants and improve the customer experience through the strategic use of technology."

Garner will report to Chipotle's chief financial officer Jack Hartung.

There's a bit of a CXO musical chairs game going on in the big food space.

Last week, Starbucks hired Gerri Martin-Flickinger as its new chief technology officer.

Martin-Flickinger, who most recently served as CIO at Adobe, will oversee Starbucks' technology roadmap and IT organization when she starts on November 2.

Image via Starbucks