John Schnatter – the founder and face of Papa John’s Pizza – has resigned as the company’s chairman of the board after it was revealed on Wednesday he used the N-word in a conference call with fellow executives in May.
“Papa John’s International, Inc. today announced that the independent directors of the company have accepted the resignation of John H. Schnatter as Chairman of the Board. Olivia Kirtley acts as the company’s Lead Independent Director. Papa John’s will appoint a new Chairman of the Board in the coming weeks,” the company announced in a press release.
Papa John’s had been the official pizza partner of the National Football League until earlier this year when Pizza Hut took over as the league’s pizza partner. Schnatter became an NFL story when he blamed the NFL and the protests held by players during the national anthem over police brutality and social justice as a reason for declining sales of pizza for the company.
Schnatter stepped down as CEO of the company in January but remained the chairman of the board until his resignation Wednesday night.