Papa John's Pizza Founder Steps Down, Blamed NFL Protests For Sagging Sales

23 December, 2017, 01:59 | Author: Jacqueline Daniels
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Papa John's says its founder John Schnatter will step down as CEO next month, about two months after he publicly criticized the NFL leadership over national anthem protests by football players.

"The NFL has hurt Papa John's shareholders", said Papa John's Founder "Papa" John Schnatter during a November 1 conference call to investors.

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He said the practice of players kneeling during the anthem to raise awareness of police brutality and social injustice hurt the NFL's TV ratings, which in turn hurt sales of his pizza, which is advertised heavily during games. "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", the company tweeted. Schnatter, meanwhile, will remain with the company as Chairman and founder. The company later became a huge success with Schnatter also turning into a pop culture staple for his commercials.

The Papa John of Papa John's is stepping down as CEO of the pizza chain effective January 1, CNN reports.

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Ritchie, 43, has been a longtime employee with Papa John's. The company generates approximately $1.4 billion in revenue per year. "We do not want these individuals or groups to buy our pizza", the company said following the post on Papa John's being the official pizza of the alt-right. He stepped down in 2005, but returned in 2008. Papa John's added Ritchie to the succession plan for the company's top job in 2015 when he was named president. Schnatter announced his decision when the market closed. In 2010, he took on a co-CEO, Jude Thompson, but that arrangement ended the following year.

For the good of Papa's shareholders, hopefully Ritchie can still deliver the dough.

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