Panera Bread Company announced today that Paul Twohig has been named executive vice president and chief operating officer. Twohig joined Panera Bread on Jan. 8 and reports to Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Ron Shaich.

Twohig has almost 30 years of experience in retail and food service. For the last nine years, he has been with Starbucks Coffee Company. Most recently, he served as Senior Vice President and was responsible for retail operations for more than 1,200 Starbucks stores in 17 states and five Canadian provinces; his responsibilities also included new store development of approximately 250 units per year and human resources for more than 15,000 associates.

Prior to Starbucks, Twohig was with Burger King Corporation, serving in a variety of roles including regional manager in New England and facilitator at Burger King’s world training facility. After his tenure with Burger King Corporation, Twohig became a franchisee and owned and operated four Burger King units in West Palm Beach, Fla.

“Paul’s experience and perspective will be very beneficial to the continued growth of Panera Bread,” said Shaich. “His intuitive understanding of our concept essence and core values, his genuine commitment to developing great people and his experience in a high growth, high commitment environment will be invaluable as we continue to strive toward delivering a special experience for more and more customers.”

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