Foodservice Equipment Reports

Former Darden, McD’s Execs Named To Helm Panera

Panera Bread Co. has named Drew Madsen as President and Ken Koziol as Executive V.P.

Madsen will oversee Panera’s core business and report directly to Ron Shaich, Chairman and CEO; Shaich plans to concentrate on broader strategy and growth initiatives for the St. Louis-based chain.

Madsen previously spent nine years as president and COO of Darden Restaurants; prior to those posts, he was president of Darden’s Olive Garden chain.

Koziol will oversee a range of café support functions. He was most recently executive v.p. and worldwide chief restaurant officer at McDonald’s Corp., where he oversaw operations support, design, equipment, innovation, mobile, delivery, training, safety and security.

“We are excited to welcome Drew and Ken to Panera, rounding out the strongest senior leadership team we’ve ever had,” Shaich said in a statement. “This is a pivotal time for Panera as we continue to make progress on initiatives to make Panera a better competitive alternative with expanded growth opportunities.”

Panera has 1,901 bakery cafés in 45 states and Ontario, Canada, operating under the Panera Bread, Saint Louis Bread Co. and Paradise Bakery & Café brands.