Papa John's Founder John Schnatter Exits as CEO

Papa John's Founder John Schnatter Exits as CEO

John Schnatter, the founder of Papa John's, has stepped down as chief executive officer of the pizza restaurant chain, according to the company.

It's not clear if Schnatter's resignation is directly related to his comments about the NFL. The company is a large sponsor for the NFL. Papa John's International an National Football League sponsor and advertiser. "We are disappointed the NFL and its leadership did not resolve this", referring to the USA national anthem protests.

"Leadership starts at the top, and this is an example of poor leadership", Schnatter said in a call with investors. The company later became a huge success with Schnatter also turning into a pop culture staple for his commercials.

On December 21, 2017, Schnatter announced he will step down from his position as CEO on January 1, 2018.

Papa John's stock closed at $59.23, down 2 cents or 0.03 per cent on Thursday. The company generates approximately $1.4 billion in revenue per year.

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On Nov. 14, the company sent out an I'm-sorry tweet: "The statements made on our earnings call were describing the factors that impact our business and we sincerely apologize to anyone that thought they were divisive".

And Schnatter himself has said goodbye to the CEO gig before. Schnatter returned as CEO three years later. In 2010, he took on a co-CEO, Jude Thompson, but that arrangement ended the following year.

Ritchie told the Wall Street Journal that he was poised to eventually replace Schnatter when he was named company president in 2015.

Ritchie has been with Papa John's since 2006.

"You've got to have free markets with limited government, with the proper amount of regulation where you don't jam entrepreneurship", Schnatter said. "By focusing on our team members, we will deliver the world class experiences our customers deserve".

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