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Panera appoints Marlene Gordon as Senior Vice President

With over 20 years of industry leadership, Marlene Gordon has joined Panera Brands and Panera Breads from Fresh Del Monte Produce Inc. to help lead the brand portfolio’s growth strategy

A Panera Bread store in Philadelphia, USA | Photo credit: via Shutterstock

Panera Bread and Panera Brands has announced the appointment of Marlene M. Gordon as Senior Vice President, Chief Legal Officer & Secretary. 

Having also previously worked at Bacardi, Burger King Corporation, Republic Industries Inc. and Blockbuster Entertainment Group, Gordon joins Panera from Fresh Del Monte Produce Inc., where she most recently served as Senior Vice President, Chief Administrative Officer, General Counsel and Secretary.  

As part of Fresh Del Monte Produce's Global Leadership Team, Gordon helped lead the redesign and deployment of the company’s new vision, values, five-year strategic objectives, global operational priorities and go to market plan. 

Gordon holds a B.A. in Economics with honours from the University of Chicago, a JD from Northwestern University Pritzker School of Law and is also a Harvard Business School Certified Organizational Leader.  

“I’m excited to join Panera Brands at such a transformational time. There are countless opportunities where I can dive in and add value, between Panera's growth strategy for its complementary and iconic brands, the company's focus on innovation and its people-first culture,” Gordon said. 

“Having a leader of Marlene’s calibre on board will support us during this exciting time for our portfolio of brands and expand our best-in-class executive team," said Niren Chaudhary, CEO, Panera Brands and Panera Bread.  

Panera Bread is privately held by JAB Holding Company. The company currently operates 2,117 bakery cafés across 48 US states and in Ontario, Canada. Panera's leadership team has expanded in recent years to accommodate industry veterans from companies including Kraft, Unilever, Pepsi, CVS and Coca-Cola. 

Panera is part of Panera Brands, a group of fast-casual operators formed in August 2021 with Caribou Coffee and Einstein Bros. Bagels and comprising around 4,000 stores. In November 2021, Panera Brands received new investment from Union Square Hospitality Group and confirmed it would launch an IPO to capitalise on "global growth opportunity" for the group's coffee and fast-casual brands.

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