ST. LOUIS — Blaine Hurst has been named president of Panera Bread Co., effective Dec. 12. He will succeed Drew Madsen, who has resigned for personal reasons, Panera said.
Hurst joined Panera in 2010 to work on the development of Panera 2.0. In May 2013, he was named executive vice president of technology and transformation, and in October 2014 he was named chief transformation and growth officer.
Before Panera, Hurst was vice chairman and president at Papa John’s International, Inc., vice president of information services at Boston Chicken and president of restaurant technology solutions at eMac Digital L.L.C., an enterprise backed by McDonald’s.
“Blaine has been instrumental in our multiyear efforts to transform Panera into a better competitive alternative with expanded growth opportunities,” said Ron Shaich, chairman and CEO of Panera Bread. “Blaine is well known and respected within the restaurant industry and the Panera family. Both colleagues and franchisees value his innovative thinking, the strength of the teams he’s built and his ability to drive transformative change.”