Panera Brands names new CEO, chairman

Panera Brands names new CEO, chairman

Panera Brands has announced it will soon have a new top manager, a move the company said was meant to help prepare it for a future initial public offering IPO. Duenas will start doing so within a month, with July 1 slated for his first day at the helm.

The former chief executive of Sonic Drive-in and Olive Garden will be entering the role of CEO of Panera Brands, the company said in a statement.

Panera Brands said the beginning of July will also mark four-year CEO Niren Chaudhary's transition to a new role: chairman.

It has been an honor to lead Panera Brands during such a transformative time for our company, Chaudhary said. Our innovative concept has shaped fast casual dining and we have grown our global presence and formally unite Panera Bread, Caribou Coffee and Einstein Bros. to create one of the world's largest and most vibrant fast casual companies. The company was formed in 2021, bringing together Panera Bread, Caribou Coffee and Einstein Bros. Bagels. That was done by JAB Holding, the owner, according to reports.

The new CEO, as well as independent director Patrick Grismer assuming the audit committee chairman job will help it get ready for going public, Panera Brands said in a statement.

S&P Global reported in April that 24 IPOs took place in the first quarter of 2023. The report found that 71 occurred in the same three-month span of the previous year.

It's not clear when Panera Brand's public offering will happen. Panera Brands reported revenue of more than $4.8 billion in fiscal year 2022, up from $4.8 billion in fiscal year 2000.

Its footprint also includes more than 2,100 Panera Breads, 730 Caribou Coffee shops and 980 Einstein Bros. Brands bagel locations.