- Panera Brands has hired Konrad Meyer as CFO, effective Aug. 22. Meyer will replace Ted Stedem, who is stepping down to explore other interests after three years at the company, Panera Brands announced Friday.
- The company also promoted Mark Wooldridge, SVP, controller and chief accounting officer, to Panera Bread’s CFO.
- These executive changes come just over a month after Panera Brands’ deal with Danny Meyer’s SPAC, USHG Acquisition Corp., fell through.
If Panera Brands decides to go public in the future when market conditions are more favorable, Meyer is well qualified to oversee this transition. Meyer previously worked at JAB, where he was a partner sourcing and overseeing the company’s investments, including the company’s fast casual restaurant portfolio. Meyer also previously served as interim CFO at Pret Manger and held various positions at a European private equity firm, according to his LinkedIn profile.
Meyer takes over as CFO as the company continues to lean into technology and loyalty. In April, Panera Bread launched its Unlimited Sip Club, resulting in rapid growth in loyalty membership. The company has been exploring different store formats, such as Panera Bread’s first digital-only location and a double drive-thru as well.
The company has also expanded via franchising, according to the press release. In July, for example, its Caribou Coffee brand brought on its first chief franchising officer to help grow franchising domestically and internationally after launching franchising for the first time in the U.S. in 2021.
JAB Holdings bought Panera Bread in 2017 and in 2021 combined Panera with Caribou Coffee and Einstein Bros. Bagels to form Panera Brands.