Madsen Assumes CEO Role at Noodles & Co.

In November, after six-year CEO Dave Boennighausen left, the 470-unit brand put the industry leader in as interim CEO.

Drew Madsen

After a stint as interim CEO, Drew Madsen has earned the permanent post at Noodles & Co., effective March 6.

“As interim CEO, Drew quickly assessed our most important opportunities and has aligned the organization around five strategic priorities that are focused on driving traffic growth. As permanent CEO, he provides the business continuity necessary to execute on these priorities through 2024 and beyond,” says Jeff Jones, Noodles & Company board chairman, in a statement. “Drew is already driving a culture of rigor, accountability, and operational excellence. Because of this leadership style, coupled with his extensive restaurant industry experience and operational expertise, the board is confident in Drew’s ability to drive sustainable growth and create long-term shareholder value.”

Prior to joining Noodles & Co., Madsen was president of Panera Bread (from May 2015 to December 2016) and, before that, he spent 15 years at Darden Restaurants, where he was president and chief operating officer for nearly 10 years.

At Noodles, Madsen also will continue to be a member of the board of directors.

“In 2024, we are focused on driving traffic growth, and we will do so by creating a culture of operational excellence, ensuring brand relevance through new and enhanced menu offerings, better utilizing our digital strengths, developing a long-term strategy for growing our catering business, and fortifying our financial position,” states Madsen. “With this focus, I believe that Noodles is well positioned to win. I look forward to working with the management team and our 7,000+ passionate team members to realize the brand’s full potential.”



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