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JAB senior partner set to retire; company names new CFO

JAB senior partner set to retire; company names new CFO

The German parent of Panera Bread also forms new Pret Panera Holding Company

JAB Holding Co., the German parent of Panera Bread and Pret A Manger, announced Monday several executive changes as well as the formation of a new subsidiary, Pret Panera Holding Company.

Senior partner Bart Becht, left, an integral player in JAB’s recent coffee sector buying spree, will retire and step down as chairman this year. JAB did not provide a date for his retirement.

JAB said the company’s other senior partners, Peter Harf and CEO Olivier Goudet, would “continue to lead JAB and oversee its investment strategy.”

“Bart has been a valued member of the JAB team for many decades,” Harf said in a statement. “I will miss our day-to-day interactions on a personal level but wish him all the best during his well-deserved retirement.”

Becht leaves the company after overseeing several key acquisitions in the coffee house and bakery-cafe sectors over the last few years including the 2017 purchase of Panera Bread and Boston-based Au Bon Pain Holding Co.

“It has been a tremendous privilege and pleasure to work with JAB and the many people within its portfolio companies and I wish them continued success,” Becht said in a statement.

Also on Monday, JAB named Fabien Simon as a new partner and CFO.  Simon previously worked for four years at JAB’s Jacobs Douwe Egberts or JDE. Prior to working at JDE, he spent 14 years at Mars.

JAB said Ricardo Rittes will join the company as a partner. He will lead expansion into emerging international markets and work out of JAB’s new office in Sao Paulo, Brazil. He previously spent 14 years at Anheuser Busch Inbev.  

Jacek Szarzynski was named lead operating partner for JAB’s newly created Pret Panera Holding Company. He will be responsible for the overall long-term success of the platform, the company said. Szarzynski worked 24 years at Mars.  

JAB representatives did not return a request to elaborate on the function of Pret Panera Holding Company.

JAB’s portfolio also includes Peet's Coffee & Tea, Caribou Coffee Company, Einstein Noah Restaurant Group Inc. and Krispy Kreme Doughnuts.

Contact Nancy Luna at [email protected] 

Follow her on Twitter: @FastFoodMaven

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