Founder, Chairman and co-CEO, Panera Bread Co.
Thursday, March 29, 2012
Fowler Hall, Stewart Center
Ron Shaich is the Founder, Chairman and co-CEO of Panera Bread Company. Shaich is directing a range of long-term innovation and strategic initiatives for the company.
Shaich began his career in the bakery-cafe industry in 1981 and went on to co-found Au Bon Pain Co., Inc. and, ultimately, founded Panera Bread. Today, the Company operates or franchises nearly 1,600 locations in 40 states and Canada. System-wide sales in 2010 exceeded $3 billion.
Under Shaich's leadership, Panera was the singularly best performing restaurant stock when measured over his last decade as CEO and the second best performing consumer stock on the S&P consumer index when measured over that same decade. Panera is the 6th most valuable publically traded U.S. restaurant company (as of March 29, 2011).
In his many years as CEO, Shaich has received widespread recognition for his leadership. Shaich was awarded the 2011 MUFSO Pioneer Award for being one of the most significant contributors in the history of the food service industry. Past winners have included Colonel Harland Sanders, Ray Kroc, Norman Brinker and J. Willard Marriott, Sr. In 2005, he was awarded IFMA’s Gold Plate Award for being the outstanding leader in the food service industry. As well, he has twice received the Nation’s Restaurant News Golden Chain Award which is given to figures who exemplify success and leadership in the food service industry.
Shaich has also been a national finalist for Ernst & Young’s Entrepreneur of the Year. The Company and Shaich’s innovative management style have been featured in Fortune, Forbes, Inc., Fast Company, The Economist, TIME, Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, all three network evening news programs (NBC Nightly News, CBS Evening News, ABC World News Tonight) and several books. As well, Shaich frequently represents Panera Bread on CNBC, Bloomberg, CNN and Fox News.
Shaich also serves as President of the Panera Bread Foundation and recently spearheaded the Panera Cares initiative, through which the Foundation created nonprofit community cafes aimed at addressing issues related to food insecurity. He is a member of the Board of Directors of the Lown Cardiovascular Research Foundation and on the Board of the Rashi School. Shaich formerly served as Chairman of the Board of Trustees of Clark University.
Shaich received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Clark University in 1976 and a Master’s Degree in Business Administration from Harvard Business School in 1978. He resides in Brookline, MA with his wife, Nancy, and children, Michael and Emma.