Shareholder group questions pay of Chipotle executives, say CEOs' compensation excessive

Top 5 executives at Chipotle pulled down $67.3M

DENVER - Chipotle Mexican Grill is under heavy fire from a shareholder group known for successfully challenging excessive executive compensation.

"Chipotle is becoming a poster child for pay-for-performance failures," said Michael Pryce-Jones, a senior governance policy analyst with CtW Investment Group, which works with union pension funds overseeing $250 billion in assets.

The top five executives at Chipotle pulled down $67.3 million last year, according to the company's proxy. That is 42 percent more than what Coca-Cola's executive team made and nearly matched the executive pay at General Electric, a global conglomerate with 45 times the revenues of Chipotle, CtW argued in a letter filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission Monday.

The group is urging shareholders to vote no on a "say-on-pay" measure this year.

Chipotle employs two co-CEOs, founder Steve Ells and Monty Moran. Ells made $25.1 million in total compensation last year, while Moran pulled down $24.4 million.