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Panera Announces new Leadership in Preparation for its IPO

José Alberto Dueñas will take over as CEO of Panera Brands starting July 1, 2023.

José Alberto DueñasJosé Alberto DueñasAt that time, current CEO Niren Chaudhary will take on the role of chairman. Under Chaudhary’s leadership, Panera greatly expanded its digital capabilities, which the company reports now account for 54% of total sales at Panera Bread, and launched Panera’s beverage subscription model.

Dueñas currently leads Panera’s Einstein Bros. Bagels brand as president and CEO. The company did not name Dueñas’ successor at Einstein Bros. Bagels.

News of the leadership shift came at the same time the company announced it is preparing for its “eventual IPO.” The chain’s prior push toward IPO happened in the fall of 2021, a deal that eventually fell by the wayside.

Indeed, this would mark a rebirth of Panera as a publicly traded company. It was first traded publicly on NASDAQ in 1991. The company went private 26 years later when JAB Holding Company acquired the chain in 2017. Now it appears IPO plans are resurfacing once again.

In a related personnel announcement, Panera appointed Patrick Grismer, Starbucks’ former chief financial officer and independent director, as the chairman of Panera’s audit committee. He joined the board in 2022.