ST. LOUIS — Jeff Kip, executive vice-president and chief financial officer for the Panera Bread Co., will leave the company on March 15. He will become executive vice-president and c.f.o. for IAC/InterActiveCorp., an Internet company based in New York.

Panera has begun a search for Mr. Kip’s replacement.

Mr. Kip joined Panera Bread in April 2003 as vice-president of corporate development. He later was vice-president of finance and planning. He was promoted to c.f.o. in May 2006.

“Jeff has really brought a great strategic perspective to our capital deployment model and has brought financial discipline and rigor to Panera,” said Bill Moreton, president and chief executive officer of St. Louis-based Panera, in a Feb. 8 earnings conference call. “I mean, we really are very appreciative of all that Jeff has contributed.”

Mr. Kip said, “I think the company is really well-positioned for the next several years. It was actually a very difficult decision for me to leave.”