Panera Bread executive resigns to become Friendly's CEO

Wednesday, April 18, 2012 | 9:36 a.m. CDT

NEW YORK — The chief operating officer of Panera Bread Co., John Maguire, plans to resign to become CEO of the restaurant chain Friendly's Ice Cream LLC.

Friendly's emerged from Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceedings in January after filing for protection from its creditors' claims in October. Its CEO, Harsha Agadi, announced in February that he was stepping down from the post after 18 months on the job, citing personal commitments. Agadi, who will remain on Friendly's board, is known as a restaurant turnaround specialist.

Panera said late Tuesday that Maguire's resignation is effective May 31. Charles Chapman III, who currently serves as executive vice president of development and business development and licensing, will take over as Panera's COO at that time.

Chapman has been with Panera since January 2008, when he became a board member. Prior to taking his current position with Panera, Chapman was COO at International Dairy Queen, a Berkshire Hathaway company. His previous experience also includes serving as COO of Bruegger's Bagels and working in various operations, marketing and finance positions for Darden Restaurants.

Last week Panera announced that it had appointed Thomas P. Kelly as interim chief financial officer while it continues searching for a permanent CFO. The opening was created when Jeff Kip recently left the St. Louis company to take the same position at IAC/InterActiveCorp.

Panera owned and franchised 1,541 bakery-cafes under the Panera Bread, Saint Louis Bread Co. and Paradise Bakery & Cafe brands as of Dec. 27. The chain has locations at South Ninth Street, South Providence Road and Bernadette Drive in Columbia. There are no Friendly's in Columbia.

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