Panera Bread announced the appointment of Lauren Cody as Chief of Staff and Chief Customer Officer. A dynamic leader with global experience, Cody comes to the brand with more than two decades of experience in the food service industry. Cody has extensive expertise in consumer and business insights, general management and strategy creation and execution at companies within the US and globally.

“It’s an exciting time at Panera and we are very pleased to have Lauren join us as Chief of Staff and Chief Customer Officer, reporting directly to me,” says Niren Chaudhary, Panera CEO. “Panera is a brand that puts our guests first, and with Lauren driving strategy at the helm of our Customer Care division, we are excited to continue toward becoming one of the most customer-responsive brands in the industry.”

Cody joins Panera after working at top restaurant brands including McDonalds and Burger King. In her recent 13-year tenure at McDonalds, Cody took on executive positions including Managing Director for the Norwegian market, Vice President of Strategy & Insights for the UK and her most recent role of Corporate Vice President where she handled Consumer and Business insights globally. Cody’s hire is part of an expansion of Panera’s leadership team, which boasts an array of industry veterans from McDonalds, Kraft, Yum! Brands, Unilever, Pepsi, CVS, Accenture and Coca-Cola.

“To join the executive team at Panera at such a pivotal time in our industry is an exciting challenge,” Cody says. “Customers are consistently raising the bar for their favorite brands and Panera is well-positioned to exceed our guest expectations.  I look forward to helping drive the strategy as Panera continues its tradition of innovation and leadership in the food industry.”

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