Niren Chaudhary

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  • Chairman of the Board, Panera Brands
  • CEO, Panera Brands & Panera Bread (2019-2023)
  • COO & President International, Krispy Kreme (2017-2019)
  • Global President, KFC (2015-2017)

Global CEO, innovator, and philanthropist Niren Chaudhary is a visionary leader. He is currently the Chairman of the Board of Panera Brands. Prior to becoming Chairman in 2023, Chaudhary served as CEO of Panera Brands and Panera Bread. Previously, Chaudhary served as Chief Operating Officer and President of Krispy Kreme, where he created a path for enterprise value growth of 3x over 5 years. Prior to that, he spent over two decades at Yum! Brands serving in global leadership positions including Global President of KFC and President of Yum! India. Chaudhary is hailed for his commitment to innovation and often provides insight into how large organizations can stay agile.  

Chaudhary is guided by his deep passion for serving others and building future leaders. He lectures at Columbia Business School and University of Delhi. His insights and voice have been sought by PWC, Harvard University, and London Business School, to name a few. He dedicates his personal time to serving on the Tufts Medical Centre Board and as an advocate for DKMS, a leading non-profit with the world’s largest stem cell donor registry. Chaudhary’s warm energy extends to his keynotes and moderated conversations alike, connecting with audiences on both an intellectual and personal level.

 



Niren Chaudhary  headshot
Past Hosts Include:
  • Boston University
  • London Business School
  • Northwestern Kellogg
  • INSEAD
  • Harvard
  • Peter Drucker Forum
  • PWC
Niren Chaudhary talks Panera Bread launches unlimited sip club | Fox Business - Get Sharable Link
Talks & Conversations with Niren Chaudhary
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On Leadership with Global CEO Niren Chaudhary

Prior to becoming Chairman, NIREN CHAUDHARY served as CEO of Panera Brands and Panera Bread, one of the world’s largest fast casual restaurant companies with nearly 4,000 locations in 10 countries. Sparking industry-leading retention rates for GMs and associates, Chaudhary’s leadership makes a tangi ...

Prior to becoming Chairman, NIREN CHAUDHARY served as CEO of Panera Brands and Panera Bread, one of the world’s largest fast casual restaurant companies with nearly 4,000 locations in 10 countries. Sparking industry-leading retention rates for GMs and associates, Chaudhary’s leadership makes a tangible difference in the everyday lives of those involved with his organizations.

In this discussion, Chaudhary lays out what makes an effective team, resilience in the face of challenges, and the ultimate toolkit for leadership. Join Chaudhary to learn how to foster a culture of positivity, support, and success.

How Niren Chaudhary Drives Innovation

Chairman of the Board of Panera Brands NIREN CHAUDHARY was named to Nation’s Restaurant News “Power List” for his innovative initiatives. Under his leadership, Panera Brands expanded its leading digital capabilities, widened its loyalty base, and increased its pace of innovation. In this engaging pr ...

Chairman of the Board of Panera Brands NIREN CHAUDHARY was named to Nation’s Restaurant News “Power List” for his innovative initiatives. Under his leadership, Panera Brands expanded its leading digital capabilities, widened its loyalty base, and increased its pace of innovation. In this engaging presentation, Niren Chaudhary lays out the essential toolkit for creating stakeholder buy in, recognizing opportunities, and driving transformation in any industry.

Live Music & Conversation: Niren Chaudhary’s Impact

Chairman of the Board of Panera Brands NIREN CHAUDHARY is also a talented musician. Guitar in hand, he discusses personal impact in this uplifting exploration of his personal life and career journey alongside a live music performance. In this unforgettable, creative engagement, Chaudhary inspires au ...

Chairman of the Board of Panera Brands NIREN CHAUDHARY is also a talented musician. Guitar in hand, he discusses personal impact in this uplifting exploration of his personal life and career journey alongside a live music performance. In this unforgettable, creative engagement, Chaudhary inspires audiences to take the next step towards their own success.

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<p><strong>Niren Chaudhary’s family history provides a personal connection to supporting stem cell research</strong></p>

Niren Chaudhary’s family history provides a personal connection to supporting stem cell research

Chairman of the Board of Panera Brands NIREN CHAUDHARY has dedicated a significant amount of time to medical philanthropy because of his family’s history with genetic disorders. Chaudhary’s two late daughters, Tanya and Aisha, were afflicted with rare, deadly genetic disorders. The Chaudhary family has since shared their story with the world across a movie, Sky is Pink, and a documentary, Black Sunshine Baby.

Following Chaudhary’s career success, he remembers and gives back to the medical community by continuing to advocate for patients with chronic illness. He serves on the Tufts Medical Centre Board and as an advocate for DKMS, a leading non-profit with the world’s largest stem cell donor registry. Chaudhary is the perfect choice for a fundraiser or health group looking to hear the personal side of today’s medical advancements.

Watch Niren Chaudhary in conversation with Inc. here >>

Watch Niren Chaudhary in discussion at Chinmaya Mission Boston here >>

<p><strong>Chairman of the Board of Panera Breads Niren Chaudhary is an innovative business leader</strong></p>

Chairman of the Board of Panera Breads Niren Chaudhary is an innovative business leader

Chairman of the Board of Panera Brands NIREN CHAUDHARY was named to Nation’s Restaurant News “Power List” for his innovative initiatives. Chaudhary is a future-first leader, constantly evolving to keep up with new trends and insights. During his four-year tenure as CEO, Panera Brands strengthened its leadership in the fast casual segment by expanding its leading digital capabilities. Panera also increased its pace of innovation, strengthened franchisee partnerships, and led the creation of a strong, people-first culture, resulting in industry-leading retention rates for GMs and associates. His efforts garnered Panera Breads the Black Box Intelligence’s Employer of Choice Award in 2022.

Chaudhary has been instrumental in focusing the organization’s efforts on continued innovation to strengthen customer relationships as the company continues to grow. Chaudhary told Nation’s Restaurant News, “In the new world as it emerges, we are focused on how we can best serve our customers and meet them where they are.”

Watch Niren Chaudhary on FOX Business here >>

Watch Niren Chaudhary’s TEDx keynote here >>

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Biography

Niren Chaudhary is the Chairman of the Board of Panera Brands, one of the world’s largest fast casual restaurant companies with nearly 4,000 locations in 10 countries. Panera Brands is comprised of Panera Bread, Caribou Coffee and Einstein Bros Bagels.

Prior to becoming Chairman in 2023, Niren served as CEO of Panera Brands and Panera Bread. During his four-year tenure, Panera Brands strengthened its leadership in the fast casual segment by expanding its leading digital capabilities, which as of 2023 account for 51% of total sales at Panera Bread, while increasing its loyalty base to more than 53 million members and launching an innovative loyalty subscription model that resulted in 25% of all Panera transactions coming from Unlimited Sip Club members. Panera also increased its pace of innovation, strengthened franchisee partnerships and led the creation of a strong, people-first culture, resulting in industry-leading retention rates for GMs and associates, earning Black Box Intelligence’s Employer of Choice Award in 2022.

Previously, Niren served as Chief Operating Officer and President of Krispy Kreme where he implemented a new operating model to elevate consistency across the global brand and created a path for enterprise value growth of 3x over 5 years. Prior to that, he spent 23 years at Yum! Brands serving in global leadership positions including Global President of KFC and President of Yum! India. 

Niren is guided by his deep passion for serving others and building future leaders. He spends his personal time sharing his personal and professional journey with students and professionals, often wielding a guitar to sing about his life or even a new Panera menu item. In addition, he dedicates his personal time serving on the Tufts Medical Centre Board and as an advocate for DKMS, a leading non-profit with the world’s largest stem cell donor registry.  

As a lifelong learner, Niren focuses on both formal and informal education. Formally, Niren holds a bachelor’s degree in Economics from St. Stephen’s College in Delhi, an MBA in marketing from the University of Delhi, and completed the Advanced Management Program at Harvard Business School. Informally, Niren speaks 4 languages – Hindi, English, Dutch and German. He holds a black belt in Shotokan karate and is an avid golfer, tennis player and musician with his own rock band.