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Leadership

Panera hires Marlene Gordon as chief legal officer

Gordon will also serve as SVP and secretary for Panera Bread and Panera Brands, the company said.
Panera Bread
Photo courtesy of Panera Bread

Marlene Gordon is the new chief legal officer for Panera Bread and Panera Brands, the company announced Monday. Gordon also serves as senior vice president and secretary for the brands.

She comes to Panera from Fresh Del Monte Produce, where she most recently served as SVP, chief administrative officer, general counsel and secretary. She has also held executive posts at Burger King, Bacardi, Blockbuster Entertainment Group and more.

“Having a leader of Marlene’s caliber on board will support us during this exciting time for our portfolio of brands and expand our best-in-class executive team,” CEO Niren Chaudhary said in a statement.

At Fresh Del Monte Produce, Gordon served on the Global Leadership Team, where she led multiple departments, and she helped design the company’s five-year strategic objectives and operational priorities.

“I’m excited to join Panera Brands at such a transformational time,” Gordon said in a statement. “There are countless opportunities where I can dive in and add value, between Panera’s growth strategy for its complementary and iconic brands, the company’s focus on innovation and its people-first culture.”

Last summer, parent company JAB Holdings said it would combine three of its fast-casual chains—Panera Bread, Einstein Bros. Bagels and Caribou Coffee—to form a “new powerhouse platform.”

In November, Panera Brands said it intends to go public, with help from a special purpose acquisition company, or SPAC, helmed by restaurateur Danny Meyer’s USHG Acquisition Corp.

Since then, a host of factors have contributed to stock market volatility, and there has been no further word on the proposed Panera Brands IPO.

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