Panera Bread has announced the appointment of former McDonald’s vice president Lauren Cody as the company’s chief of staff and chief customer officer. She will be reporting directly to CEO Niren Chaudhary.
Cody has more than two decades of experience in consumer and business insights within the foodservice industry, including an eight-year career at Burger King and 13-year career at McDonald’s, where she most recently held the position of vice president of global consumer and business insights.
“To join the executive team at Panera at such a pivotal time in our industry is an exciting challenge,” Cody said in a statement. “Customers are consistently raising the bar for their favorite brands and Panera is well-positioned to exceed our guest expectations. I look forward to helping drive the strategy as Panera continues its tradition of innovation and leadership in the food industry.”
Cody is part of a string of recent hires for the Panera Bread executive team, including Debbie Roberts, who was hired earlier in September as the company’s chief operations officer and Claes Petersson, who came on board as Panera’s chief food innovation officer in June.
“It’s an exciting time at Panera and we are very pleased to have Lauren join us as Chief of Staff and Chief Customer Officer, reporting directly to me,” Niren Chaudhary, Panera CEO, said in a statement. “Panera is a brand that puts our guests first, and with Lauren driving strategy at the helm of our Customer Care division, we are excited to continue toward becoming one of the most customer-responsive brands in the industry.”
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