Panera Bread Company announced that president and co-CEO Bill Moreton will transition to executive vice chairman, due to a recognition of his need to spend increased amounts of time on a family matter.

"As a result of this family matter, I have found myself unable to travel and am now clear I will be challenged to fully execute my responsiblities as president and co-CEO of Panera Bread," Moreton says. "Thus, the Board and I agree that it is best that I evolve into a role as executive vice chairman. In this new role, I hope to be able to fulfill my personal responsibilities while maintaining a strong engagement with Panera, and assist Ron and our team in leading our company."

Effective August 1, 2013, upon Moreton's transition, chairman and co-CEO Ron Shaich will again serve as Panera's sole CEO, pursuant to Panera's management succession plan. 

Shaich is Panera's founder and longtime CEO, having served as sole CEO from May 1994 to May 2010, and co-CEO from January 1988 to May 1994 and March 2012 to present.

"Bill and I have a deep personal bond with each other. We have worked together and been friends for many years," Shaich says. "I wish we could have continued the co-CEO partnership that we have created over the last 13 months, but I also know that Bill has struggled with the challenges that led to his decision to evolve his duties.

"All of us at Panera respect Bill's decision and are pleased that Bill will remain an active partner of ours at Panera," he adds. "In addition, knowing Bill's need to make this decision was a possibility, we are confident that we presently have in place the leadership and capabilities necessary to execute our key initiatives and continue Panera's record of success well into the future."

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