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25 December 2017, 12:31 | Nellie George
Danny Moloshok Reuters
John Schnatter founder and chief executive of Papa John's Pizza waves goodbye
COO Steve Ritchie will replace him on January 1, but Schnatter will remain chairman of the board, according to Yahoo!
"I see mostly strategic continuity, but I expect Steve Ritchie to also put his own imprint" on Papa John's", he said.
And that brings us to Friday's announcement that Schnatter will step down as the CEO of Papa John's following his remarks about NFL players protesting during the national anthem, as reported by NPR. "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".
"This should have been nipped in the bud a year and a half ago", Schnatter also said about the anthem protests, CNN reported.
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.
Schnatter has stepped down as CEO before in 2005 after a period of declining sales at the company, then returned three years later.
"The NFL has hurt us", Schnatter said on November 1. The company now operates more than 5,000 locations.
"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 website posted a picture of a Papa John's pizza with a swastika fashioned from pepperoni. Instead, he only said that it was "the right time to make this change".
Papa John's issued an apology after the November 1 conference call distancing itself from Schnatter's comments.
Shares of Papa John's are still down 13 percent from when the National Football League feud began and have plummeted 30 percent overall this year. Shares have dropped another 13% in the seven weeks since he made his comments, costing Schnatter personally an estimated $84 million.
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