Papa John's founder steps down after blaming anthem protests for slumping sales

Papa John's founder steps down after blaming anthem protests for slumping sales”

The founder of Papa John's, who is from IN, is out as the company's CEO.

Papa John's founder John Schnatter will step down as CEO next month, about two months after he criticized the NFL leadership over national anthem protests by players - comments for which the company later apologized. That happened two months ago and Schnatter has since apologized for his comments. In 2010, he took on a co-CEO, Jude Thompson, but that arrangement ended the following year.

Schnatter, who founded the pizza chain in 1984, will remain as chairman of the board. The company even had to come out and say that they weren't pro-Nazi after some alt-right and white supremacist groups wanted to make Papa John's their official pizza after he slammed the racial injustice protests.

"This should have been nipped in the bud a year and a half ago", Schnatter also said about the anthem protests, CNN reported.

"We expect it to persist unless a solution is put in place", Ritchie said about the kneeling's connection to falling pizza sales.

"In his duties as Chairman and founder, Schnatter will continue to champion the core principles that led to recognition as the industry leader in product quality and customer satisfaction", the release stated.

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. "We couldn't have a more proven leader to guide Papa John's through its next stage of growth". He claimed that to insure his employees he would need to raise the costs of pizza and deliveries.

The pizza chain has seen its stock price decline about 13 percent since the remarks were made and down about 30 percent since the beginning of this year. Since then, it has grown to more than 5,000 locations. He became a Papa John's franchise owner and operator in 2006. Papa John's customers can order through Facebook and Apple TV, but Ritchie said he wants the chain to be everywhere customers are. He will be replaced by company president Steve Ritchie. Ritchie said plans for him to succeed Schnatter were made after that.

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