Panera names a new president

panera bread exterior

Panera Bread has named quick-service veteran Blaine Hurst to succeed Drew Madsen as president of the bakery-cafe chain, effective Monday.

Panera said that Madsen resigned the post “for personal reasons,” without revealing details. Madsen, a longtime executive of casual-dining giant Darden Restaurants, joined Panera as president in May 2015.

Hurst has been with Panera since 2010, after a career elsewhere that included a stint as president of Papa John’s. He is currently chief transformation and growth officer, an EVP-level position at Panera.

His lengthy resume includes IT and technology-related posts. Panera has been one of the industry’s leading adapters of remote ordering tech.

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