Skip navigation
Panera names Drew Madsen president

Panera names Drew Madsen president

Bakery-café operator also appoints Ken Koziol as executive vice president

Panera Bread Co. has named Drew Madsen president and Ken Koziol executive vice president, effective May 11.

Madsen will report directly to chairman and CEO Ron Shaich and will oversee the core business, while Shaich focuses on broader strategy and growth initiatives, Panera said in a press release Monday.

Madsen previously spent nine years as president and chief operating officer of Darden Restaurants Inc. Before that, he was president of Darden’s Olive Garden chain, and was earlier its vice president of marketing. He started his career with a 12-year stint at General Mills, where he progressed from marketing assistant to vice president of marketing.

Madsen received an MBA from the Stephen M. Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan.

Koziol was most recently executive vice president and worldwide chief restaurant officer at McDonald’s, where he oversaw operations support, design, equipment, innovation, mobile, delivery, training, safety and security. At Panera, he will “oversee a range of café support functions,” according to the press release. He received an MBA from Northern Illinois University.

“We are excited to welcome Drew and Ken to Panera, rounding out the strongest senior leadership team we’ve ever had,” Shaich said in a statement. “This is a pivotal time for Panera as we continue to make progress on initiatives to make Panera a better competitive alternative with expanded growth opportunities.”

Shaich also noted the company’s Panera 2.0 digital and operational initiative; innovation in food, marketing and restaurant design; and adjacent businesses including catering, delivery and consumer products in his statement.

At the end of its first quarter ended March 31, Panera had 1,901 bakery-cafés in 45 states and Ontario, Canada, operating under the Panera Bread, Saint Louis Bread Co. and Paradise Bakery & Café brands.

Contact Bret Thorn at [email protected].
Follow him on Twitter: @foodwriterdiary

Hide comments


  • Allowed HTML tags: <em> <strong> <blockquote> <br> <p>

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.