Panera Brands takes another step in its planned IPO

Krispy Kreme CEO Mike Tattersfield, who is stepping down from that position in January, will become the company’s board chairman. Former Starbucks CFO Patrick Grismer will become lead independent director.
Panera Bread
Panera Bread parent Panera Brands said Mike Tattersfield will become board chair in January. | Photo: Shutterstock.

Mike Tattersfield is returning to Panera Bread, Caribou Coffee and Einstein Bros. Bagels.

Panera Brands, the parent company of all three chains, on Monday said that the soon-to-be-former Krispy Kreme CEO will join its board of directors and become chairman come January as part of its preparations for a planned initial public offering.

Patrick Grismer, the former Starbucks CFO who joined the board last year, will become a lead independent director.

The move is part of a series of personnel changes at the company in advanced of its eventual IPO. In May, the company named José Alberto Dueñas CEO, replacing Niren Chaudhary, who was named chairman. But Panera is now naming Tattersfield to that role on the day Krispy Kreme announced his ultimate departure from the CEO job there come January.

Tattersfield has spent time with all three chains under the Panera Brands banner. He was CEO of Caribou for nine years, guiding the chain during its sale to JAB Holding. He was also CEO of Einstein Noah Restaurant Group after that chain was sold to JAB and then guided both chains as chairman.

He was also a member of the Panera Bread board for nearly six years starting in 2016. He was named CEO of Krispy Kreme in 2017—another JAB company—and helped take that one public in 2021.

His task, along with Grismer’s, will be to guide Panera’s upcoming initial public offering. In 2021, the same year Krispy Kreme went public, Panera Brands announced an IPO as part of an investment from the Danny Meyer-led special purpose acquisition company USHG Acquisition Corp. That deal fell apart last year after inflation froze the market for offerings.

Panera has continued to insist that it plans to go public once the market improves. That market has seemingly improved, thanks to successful offerings from the fast-casual chain Cava and Korean concept Gen Korean BBQ.

“We are delighted to welcome Mike to the board and support Pat’s step into the lead independent director role, both of which are another step in our process of assembling a group of world-class industry veterans to oversee and support the next phase of the company’s growth as a public company,” JAB Senior Partner David Bell said in a statement.

Panera Brands, which oversees chains with more than 3,800 locations, generated $4.8 billion in revenue in 2022, the company said. Panera Bread has 53 million members of its loyalty club, which account for 51% of sales at the chain.

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