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Papa John's founder exiting as CEO weeks after National Football League comments

24 December 2017
Papa John's founder exiting as CEO weeks after National Football League comments

Though no reason for Schnatter's resignation was given, the move comes almost two months after the pizza magnate, who founded the chain in 1984, made controversial statements blaming protesting National Football League players for falling pizza sales on an earnings call.

John Schnatter, Founder, Chairman and CEO of Papa John's International, Inc., with a display of pizzas to celebrate the grand opening of Papa John's 4000th restaurant on Friday Sept. 14, 2012, in New Hyde Park, N.Y.

The company took to Twitter and apologized for the saucy comments after neo-Nazi website the Daily Stormer gave Papa John's the esteemed title of official pizza of the alt-right.

The founder also cited this figure when he slammed "immoral" executive salaries in a 2017 interview with Business Insider."I haven't taken a raise probably in two, three, four years", Schnatter said in the interview.

John Schnatter founded the chain in the 1980s and will stay on as its chairman, but leave the other seat on January 1. "We do not want these individuals or groups to buy our pizza", the company said in their November 5 statement.

"We expect it to persist unless a solution is put in place", Ritchie said about the kneeling's connection to falling pizza sales.

It has also, evidently, polarized the executive leadership at the pizza chain.

"Leadership starts at the top and this is an example of poor leadership", Schnatter said, noting he thought the issue had been "nipped in the bud" a year and a half ago.

The company's stock is down 30 percent since the beginning of the year.

Both those comments wound up hurting the company even more. However, Schnatter will still be chairman of the board and is still the biggest shareholder. Strangely, the potential relevance of the fact that Papa John's pizza tastes like garlic-infused despair never came up.

John Schnatter, founder of Papa John's pizza restaurants, in pool w. his trainer, doing stretches during workout at home. "The focus of the brand needs to be the pizza". He became a franchise owner in 2006 and owns nine locations.

Ritchie said he will focus on making it easier to order Papa John's from anywhere, including form tweets, text messages, and voice-activated devices. Ritchie said plans for him to succeed Schnatter were made after that.