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Drew Madsen promoted to permanent CEO of Noodles & Company

The former Panera and Darden executive has been interim chief executive since November

Noodles & Company has named Drew Madsen its CEO effective March 6. He was named interim CEO in November. He will also remain a member of the board of directors.

“On behalf of the entire board, we are thrilled Drew will be leading Noodles as CEO,” board chair Jeff Jones said in a release announcing the appointment. “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,”

“Drew is already driving a culture of rigor, accountability, and operational excellence.” Jones added. 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.”

Drew_Madsen.pngMost recently, Madsen, left, was president of Panera Bread. He also spent 15 years at Darden Restaurants, including a nearly 10-year stint as president and chief operating officer.

“I believe Noodles is a differentiated brand with a strong value proposition, and I am excited to lead the team as we deliver exceptional experiences for all current and future Noodles customers,” Madsen said in the release. “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. 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.”

Madsen has been on Noodles’ board of directors since September of 2017.

Contact Bret Thorn at [email protected] 



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