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Noodles & Co. Ousts CEO

Ex-Panera exec takes role on interim basis




Photo: Krblokhin/

The board at Noodles & Co. (Broomfield, Colo.) has replaced CEO Dave Boennighausen with veteran restaurant executive Drew Madsen on an interim basis. Concurrently, the board has initiated a search for a new permanent CEO.

Madsen’s appointment follows the decision by the board to transition to new leadership, the company said in a news release.

Most recently, Madsen was President of Panera Bread, and before that was at Darden Restaurants for 15 years, including 10 years as President and COO.

“As interim CEO, I will focus the Noodles team on delivering exceptional experiences to our customers, and effectively implementing the initiatives that drive business growth,” said Madsen, who has served on the company’s board since 2017.

Said Board Chairman Jeff Jones, “We are very excited to have Drew step into the interim CEO role and remain on our board. He is a seasoned executive with a deep understanding of our company’s operations and strategy, and has a successful track record as a leader in the restaurant industry. We have full confidence in his ability to guide the company effectively during this time as we focus on key strategic initiatives to drive top line growth and bottom-line results and significantly enhance stockholder value.”

Jones also expressed his gratitude for Boennighausen’s contributions to the company: “On behalf of the board, we thank Dave for his leadership and dedication to Noodles. He led the Noodles team and navigated the company through a period of rapid change and market disruption, including during the pandemic. His passion for the Noodles brand is undeniable, he has our full respect and we wish him all the best in his future endeavors.”


Founded in 1995, Noodles & Co. now consists of 450-plus restaurants.

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