Papa John's founder John Schnatter steps down as company's CEO


Friends, today is a dark day in the world of Italian-themed quick-serve restaurant franchises, for John "Papa John" Schnatter, whose keen business acumen and unmatched marketing savvy resulted in neo-Nazis everywhere publicly declaring their undying love for his company's product, is stepping down as CEO of his eponymous carbo-loaded empire.

The company's stock price has dropped 13 percent since Schantter's comment, per the AP. He is also the company's biggest shareholder. Former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick had kneeled during the anthem to protest what he said was police mistreatment of black men, and other players started kneeling as well.

A major shakeup has happened at Papa John's.

Shares of Papa John's are down about 13 percent since the day before the National Football League comments were made, reducing the value of Schnatter's stake in the company by almost $84 million.

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This likely won't make Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones too happy, who backed Papa John's statement. Schnatter's decision to relinquish the role may come as a surprise to those who recognize him as "Papa John" in the chain's promotions.

Some left-wing critics have said that Schnatter's departure as CEO isn't enough to convince them to support the company given that he will remain chairman of the board. The company now operates more than 5,000 locations. It's not the first time Schnatter has stepped down. The pizza chain apologized for the comments in a Twitter post several weeks later.

Ritchie said new ads would come out next year. McDonald's Corp., for example, expects to increase delivery from 5,000 of its almost 14,000 USA locations by the end of the year. "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". That's a strategy that has worked for Domino's, which takes orders from tweets, text messages and voice-activated devices, such as Amazon's Echo. He will be replaced by company president Steve Ritchie. Steve Ritchie will take over as chief executive.

"The NFL has hurt us", Schnatter said.