03 May 2022

Panera adds former Burger King lawyer as CLO

Marlene Gordon joins American bakery-café chain following stint as Fresh Del Monte’s legal chief

Marlene Gordon Image courtesy of Panera

Bakery-café chain Panera Bread Company has added a former assistant general counsel for Burger King as its new legal eagle. 

Marlene Gordon brings more than 20 years of industry experience at companies including Bacardi and Burger King to the St Louis, Missouri-based company, which has around 2,000 locations across the US and Canada, and will serve as its SVP, CLO and secretary.

She succeeds Genevieve Kelly, who was Panera's chief legal officer and corporate secretary from November 2020 until November last year, according to her LinkedIn profile.

Gordon joins Panera following a stint at Floridian fruit and vegetable producer Fresh Del Monte Produce, where most recently she was SVP, chief administrative officer, GC and secretary. In that role she led legal, corporate communications and people strategies to support Del Monte’s business objectives and play a key role in implementing the company’s new five-year strategic objectives, global operational priorities and go to market plan.

Prior to joining Del Monte in 2018, Gordon spent just shy of six years at spirits maker Bacardi in Florida, latterly serving as VP and GC for North America and global chair of its women-in-leadership initiative, and earlier was in a variety of senior in-house roles at Burger King over the course of 14 years. 

“We are thrilled to welcome to Marlene as she joins the executive team,” said Panera CEO Niren Chaudhary. “Having a leader of Marlene’s calibre on board will support us during this exciting time for our portfolio of brands and expand our executive team.” 

Gordon commented: “I am excited to start working alongside Niren, the leadership team and all of our associates in achieving the company's business objectives and taking the company to the next level.”