Panera Bread Company announced that it appointed Thomas E. Lynch as an independent director on its Board of Directors, effective March 5. Lynch will fill the existing vacancy in the class of directors whose term is scheduled to expire in 2012.
Lynch is the senior managing director of Mill Road Capital, a private equity firm that focuses on investments in high-quality, publicly traded companies. Lynch has over two decades of investing, management consulting, and operating experience. Prior to forming Mill Road Capital, Lynch was the founder and a managing director of Lazard Capital Partners, where he created the fund's strategy, recruited the investment team, and established one of the top performing 1997 private equity funds in the U.S. Prior to Lazard, Lynch was a managing director at the Blackstone Group. Lynch came to Blackstone from the Monitor Company, where he worked with companies in the retail, chemicals, plastics, coatings, and packaging industries.
Lynch previously served as a member of Panera's Board from June 2003 until December 2006. He has a B.A. with honors in Political Economy and Philosophy from Williams College, an M.Phil in Politics from Oxford University, and an M.B.A. from Stanford University.
"We are extremely pleased to announce the appointment of Tom to Panera's Board," says Ron Shaich, chairman and CEO of Panera. "Panera will benefit greatly from Tom's extensive experience as an investor and manager, particularly with businesses in the retail and restaurant industries."