Panera Buys Au Bon Pain, Ron Shaich Steps Down as CEO | CMO Strategy

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Panera Bread is reuniting with Au Bon Pain by shopping for the smaller bakery chain and naming a brand new CEO, main modifications that come 4 months after Panera was acquired and brought non-public by funding agency JAB.

Au Bon Pain and Panera have been a part of the identical firm till 1999. Now Panera, which was offered to JAB for $7.2 billion in July, needs Au Bon Pain’s business-driven areas to badist drive its personal enterprise. It’s the newest deal at JAB, which has been steadily rising an empire of coffee-and-bakery chains that by now additionally contains the likes of Krispy Kreme, Caribou Coffee, and Peet’s.

Speculation had been rising just lately that JAB would possibly look to purchase Dunkin’ Donuts to maintain including to its coffee-driven lineup. Once information of the Au Bon Pain takeover was introduced Wednesday afternoon, shares of Dunkin’s dad or mum, Dunkin’ Brands, fell greater than four %.

Panera says it needs to make use of Boston-based Au Bon Pain and its 304 models to search for progress in several sorts of actual property than the place Panera has historically been, together with hospitals, universities, transportation facilities and concrete areas. Financial phrases of the deal, set to shut by the tip of the yr, weren’t shared.

“Since Au Bon Pain typically is in smaller footprints, Panera Bread, on the whole, can better capture the needs of consumers who are on-the-go, rather than looking for a sit-down experience,” stated Marie Chan, a accomplice at Vivaldi, a model technique consulting agency.

An extended historical past
Ron Shaich and his late accomplice Louis Kane fashioned Au Bon Pain Co. Inc. in 1981, and in 1993 Au Bon Pain acquired Saint Louis Bread Company. In 1999, the corporate was renamed Panera in Shaich’s push for nationwide progress, and that is when it offered off Au Bon Pain to focus solely on the way forward for Panera.

Ronald 'Ron' Shaich, founder, chairman and CEO of Panera Bread, speaks during a roundtable discussion on Bloomberg Television in 2013.
Ronald ‘Ron’ Shaich, founder, chairman and CEO of Panera Bread, speaks throughout a roundtable dialogue on Bloomberg Television in 2013. Credit: Peter Foley/Bloomberg

Shaich has continued to be a voice for the corporate because it was acquired by JAB. In September, for instance, he appeared in a video selling Panera’s youngsters’ menu choices with a publicity-stunt plea to get the CEOs of main burger chains to eat off of their very own youngsters’ menus for per week.

Shaich will go the CEO position to Panera President Blaine Hurst on Jan. 1. Hurst has been with Panera since 2011 and have become president in December.

Shaich, who’s staying on as Panera’s chairman of the board, will probably be a major investor within the firm and plans to separate his time between Panera, initiatives for JAB, and his private investments and pursuits, Panera stated. He’ll additionally proceed to work on technique, communications and acquisitions, the corporate stated.

Shaich, in an announcement, stated it is the precise time to step down as CEO after returning in 2011 to badist the corporate velocity up its progress. He added that Panera was one of the best performing restaurant inventory from July 18, 1997, to July 18, 2017, when it was offered to JAB.

And in a considerably muted dig on the Wall Street technique of badembly quarterly numbers and the political local weather, Panera stated Shaich “will also pursue investments and causes important to him, with particular focus on working to reduce the pervasive short-term thinking in our capital markets and national debate.”

Anomaly handles inventive content material and social campaigns for Panera, with Maxus on media shopping for and Sloane and Weber Shandwick on public relations.

Panera has roughly 2,050 areas below the names Panera Bread, Saint Louis Bread Co. and Paradise Bakery & Cafe, with about $5 billion in annual systemwide gross sales.


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