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Panera Bread names 30-year McDonald’s executive, Debbie Roberts, COO

New executive plans to simplify operations

Panera Bread named Debbie Roberts, who joined the bakery-cafe chain September 8, EVP and chief operations officer. A 30-year McDonald’s executive, Roberts has a wealth of experience in the restaurant industry that she brings to her new position as COO.

According to an announcement, Panera has recently plucked several executives from a world-class pool of companies, including Accenture, CVS, Pepsi, Coca-Cola, CVS, Kraft, Unilever, Yum Brands, and now McDonald’s, to strengthen its leadership team.

At McDonald’s, Roberts served as East Zone president, with responsibility for 7,000 locations in 11 market regions. “I look forward to building on the team’s accomplishments and helping to simplify and innovate our operations as we navigate this unique time in our industry,” said Roberts.

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And Niren Chaudhary, chief executive of Panera, added, “We are thrilled to welcome Debbie to Panera and looking forward to her bringing her strong record of cross-functional partnership, results-driven engagement, and especially, her focus on people as the core of operational excellence.”

Photo credit: Panera Bread (featured preview image)

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