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Panera Bread Appoints Niren Chaudhary as CEO

Panera Bread Appoints Niren Chaudhary as CEO

Friday, April 26th, 2019

Panera Bread has announced the appointment of Niren Chaudhary as President and CEO. He will succeed Blaine Hurst, who is retiring from his current role as CEO of Panera, effective May 23, 2019.

Hurst will remain on the Board of Panera and become Vice Chairman, and will work alongside Chaudhary after he joins the company in early May to help ensure a smooth transition into his new position.

Niren Chaudhary, President and CEO, Panera Bread"I am honored to be given the opportunity to lead Panera at this exciting milestone in the company's history," said Chaudhary. "I look forward to working with all of the talented people who are part of Panera, including our employees and our franchisees, as we move forward to further grow one of the world's best food companies."

According to the company’s press release, Chaudhary joins Panera from Krispy Kreme, where he has been the Chief Operating Officer and President of Krispy Kreme International since 2017. Chaudhary spent 23 years with Yum! Brands previously in a variety of executive positions.

Blaine Hurst, Retiring CEO & President, Panera Bread"I am thrilled to welcome Niren as the new CEO of Panera Bread," said Hurst. "While it has been a difficult decision for me to retire, I am confident that Panera will be well-positioned for continued long-term success with Niren taking on the role of CEO. He has a proven track record of successfully growing brands in many markets around the globe while also being highly focused on culture and people, and I am as excited about Panera's future today as I was when I started working with the company nearly nine years ago. I look forward to this next chapter as Panera's Vice Chairman and helping JAB, our majority investor, with technology initiatives and other potential projects, while also having the opportunity to spend more time with my family. I am so proud of the Panera brand, the people, our food and the experience we provide to customers and associates every day."

Olivier Goudet, Panera Chairman and JAB Managing Partner and CEO said he is “delighted” that Chaudhary will become the new CEO of Panera Bread and Goudet recognizes him as an industry leader.

Olivier Goudet, Chairman, Panera Bread and Managing Partner and CEO, JAB“With an impressive track record of establishing brands and leading companies to achieve growth in markets around the world,” noted Goudet. “He is passionate about serving the people he works with as well as his customers, and has shown a keen ability to develop growth strategies that appeal to consumer needs no matter where they reside. These qualities make him perfectly suited to lead Panera into the next phase of global growth in the US and abroad, while maintaining its mission of doing good in the world and serving food as it should be."

Panera Bread recently announced the appointment of Niren Chaudhary as President and CEO

Goudet continued, "We are deeply grateful for Blaine's contributions during his time at Panera. Blaine played a significant role in making Panera a leader in the industry including his tireless efforts to lead Panera through its omni channel journey including Panera 2.0, digital, delivery, catering, brand evolution, and his commitment to diversity and inclusion. To that effect, we are excited that Blaine has agreed to join JAB to help accelerate the technology transformation of our other food portfolio brands such as Pret a Manger."

With more than 25 years of international corporate leadership experience in the food retail and hospitality industry, Chaudhary brings broad experience in building brands and driving value through long-term growth.

Congratulations to Niren Chaudhary from the Deli Market News team!

Panera Bread