Panera Bread Co. this week named Thomas Patrick Kelly as interim chief financial officer while the company continues to search for a permanent executive.
Kelly temporarily fills a position at the St. Louis, Mo.-based bakery-café chain formerly held by Jeff Kip, who resigned in March  to join IAC/InterActive Corp. He will report to Bill Moreton, Panera’s president and co-chief executive. The company said Kelly will manage its finance and accounting departments, and Moreton will remain the primary contact for its investment community.
Kelly is an independent CFO who has served as an interim executive for companies such as Express Jet Airlines and Hawker Beechcraft Corp. He has also worked with American Airlines, Dell and Trilogy Software.
“As an experienced financial executive with over 10 years of CFO and CEO experience on both a permanent and interim basis in various industries ranging from airlines to manufacturing to technology, Patrick provides Panera with the expertise and experience we are looking for during this transition,” Moreton said in a statement. “The search for our permanent CFO is ongoing, and we anticipate that it will take four to six months to find the right permanent replacement."
Panera Bread Co. owns and franchises 1,541 bakery-cafes under the Panera Bread, Saint Louis Bread Co. and Paradise Bakery & Café brands.
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