Go Johnny Go: Papa John’s CEO Resigns

By on December 21, 2017

Pizza giant Papa John’s founder John Schnatter will resign as CEO in January, about two months after he publicly blamed NFL players protesting racial inequality for his company’s diminished sales growth.

The popular restaurant chain announced earlier today that Schnatter will be replaced as chief executive by Chief Operating Officer Steve Ritchie on Jan. 1.  Schnatter, who appears in the chain’s commercials and on its pizza boxes, and is the company’s biggest shareholder, remains chairman of the board. You may remember Schnatter blamed slowing sales growth at Papa John’s — an NFL sponsor and advertiser — on the outcry surrounding players kneeling during the national anthem. Former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick spearheaded the movement to protest what he said was police mistreatment of black men.


Schnatter, 56, founded Papa John’s more than three decades ago, when he turned a broom closet at his father’s bar into a pizza spot. And it has since grown to more than 5,000 locations.


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