The executive change up comes after Schnatter placed blame on the NFL for the brand’s slow sales.
John Schnatter—the founder behind Papa John’s—is being replaced as the brand’s CEO. Starting on January 1, 2018, Schnatter will remain chairman of the company while current President Steve Ritchie is promoted to CEO.
A recent article in Nation’s Restaurant News notes that the change to Papa John’s executive team comes after Schnatter received criticism for blaming the brand’s slow sales on the NFL for allowing on-field protests during its third quarter earnings call at the beginning of November. Even though Papa John’s has had a long-standing relationship with the NFL, the brand pulled some of its ads to focus on more digital campaigns instead.
Schnatter’s comments on the executive change focus on Ritchie rather than his controversial remarks. In a statement quotes by Nation’s Restaurant News, he said, "I am so proud of Steve — he has excelled at every job he's ever held at Papa John's — from being an hourly customer service rep, to a delivery driver, store general manager, director of operations, franchisee and most recently President. With 120,000 Papa John's corporate and franchise employees, Steve will put the spotlight on our pizza and the most important ingredient — our team members. We couldn't have a more proven leader to guide Papa John's through its next stage of growth.”
To read the original article, click here.