Papa John’s CEO stepping down

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The CEO of Papa John’s is on the way out two months after criticizing the NFL over the national anthem controversy. John Schnatter, the pizza chain’s founder, will step down next month, the company announced Thursday.

Schnatter will remain chairman, but Chief Operating Officer Steve Ritchie will assume chief executive duties January 1.

Schnatter blamed NFL player protests for the company’s disappointing third-quarter earnings and criticized NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell for failing to solve the issue. Some believed Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, in what became a failed attempt to derail Goodell’s extension, put Schnatter up to his rant, which draw widespread attention.

Jones owns more than 100 Papa John’s stores and has appeared in commercials for the company.

Ritchie would not say if Schnatter’s NFL comments played a role in the job change, via the Associated Press.

39 responses to “Papa John’s CEO stepping down

  1. Why step down from your own company? Especially when you are right? The players are wrongly bashing their own flag, and Goodell is more worried about how much money he can make, and how often he can get the NFL Jet to take personal trips.

    If you players have an issue with how you’re treated in life by police, then protest against your local police department, not your flag, your national anthem, and the men and women who make it possible for you to protest and have freedom of speech.

  2. Once they backtracked and supported the protests against our great country I unsubscribed from their emails, deleted my account, and told them, although I liked their garlic butter with the pizza, I love our country. Easy trade off. Ford and Nike also supported the protests against our great country.

  3. My guess is he’ll now blame the new CEO when this company goes belly up instead of the inferior (crappy pizza) product .

  4. Schnatter signs on as the NFL’s official pizza supplier and floods the game broadcasts with his annoying ads. Viewers tired of seeing him stop watching and ratings sink.

    It’s quite simple.

  5. Their revenue was a disappointment before his comments.

    The lesson here, in my view, is the same as the lesson for the NFL.

    When you are vocal about political points of view, no matter the viewpoint, you piss off 30% of your customers.

    I’m not making a statement about the rightness or wrongness of either side. I’m stating a fact.

    Companies can choose to make a stand and lose revenue. That is their right. Don’t act surprise when it happens.

    With all of that said, I hadn’t had a Papa Johns pizza since college (90s) until about 2 years ago. My kids wanted a large pizza. When did a large pizza get so small, Papa Johns? When did so much of it become crust ring? My guess is they made pizza smaller to maintain price.

    Great. Give me an XXL option? Maybe if the product tastes good and is honest about size, people will order it. Maybe.

  6. It’s not NFL protests – it is the product and the way you do business.

    We had an outlet located halfway between two of our three local colleges – both less than a mile away and so, walking distance (and they had delivery) – and no other pizza outlets located at that end of town – and they only managed to last about a year.

    If you can’t make it under those conditions, its no one’s fault but your own.

  7. hopefully he stop’s showing up on my TV and computer….just go away dude! and bring jerry with ya to!

  8. Sooooo, does the whole “stay in your own lane” advice apply to professional athletes also? Should those that disagree with the players start boycotting the companies that hire players to endorse products?

  9. Don’t step down. He has the right to say what he wants. He’s the owner of the company. Why are we so sensitive about everything? It’s getting so ridiculous. Beautiful America, land of the censored. Let the consequences play out naturally. If he says something people don’t like, people can stop buying the pizza. Simple as that.

  10. What does this mean to all those who were loudly boasting that their rage over kneeling was causing the NFL to lose millions? Hmmmm, I will bet this is another librul conspircy to trick us all!! Give em hell papa, dont bow down to PC culture, Soros and HRC. We still need to fire everyone one of those SOBs who hate our country, hate our military, hate our police!!!! Spoiled millionaires!!! Losers!!!! MAGA!!!!! (of course, there are those who somehow have to reconcile the fact that many of these kneeling, spoiled, millionaire losers volunteer their time, spend their own money to support our military, police and communities–while by and large those bitching about all this have yet to lift a finger–hurry, run to Reddit to find out what to think!!)

  11. He’s not stepping down… it’s a PR move, just changing his title to appear like they made a move. He’s still the chairman. Damage conrol, nothing more.

  12. Meh. I agreed with Papa John about the protests, a lot of folks do. Also, there is zero evidence that this move has anything to do with his comments a couple months ago. If anything, it probably has more to do with overall sales numbers. Or maybe he just wanted to pare down his responsibilities. Who knows? Won’t stop libs from claiming victory.

  13. Never once bought a PJ pizza. And after his stance coming out against players who are against police brutality, I never will.

    He simply attempted to use the issue of people dying to attempt to prop up his dying franchise. What a loser!

  14. Apparently he has stepped down before when sales tanked, only to come back when they improved. Let’s hope he doesn’t come back as his commercials are the worst.

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