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Panera names Darden COO as president; McDonald’s veteran as VP


St. Louis – Panera Bread Co. has named Drew Madsen president, effective May 11. He will report to Ron Shaich, chairman and CEO, and oversee the core café business, while Shaich focuses on strategy, growth initiatives and innovation across the company.

Madsen served as president and COO of Darden Restaurants Inc. He also previously served as president of Darden's Olive Garden chain and was Olive Garden's executive VP of marketing prior to that.

Before that, Madsen was president of International Masters Publishers, and VP/general manager of James River Corp. He began his career at General Mills.

Panera has also named Ken Koziol as executive VP. He comes to Panera from McDonald's, where he served as executive VP, worldwide chief restaurant officer. In that position, he oversaw worldwide operations support, design, equipment, innovation, mobile, delivery, training, safety and security.

Before that, Koziol led McDonald's corporate innovation function. While at McDonald's, he also served as in several VP and executive roles.

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