Papa John is Papa GONE.
John Schnatter, the founder of Papa John’s, is stepping down as CEO of the company just two months after speaking out against NFL leadership for letting players kneel during the national anthem.
In a conference call with shareholders in November, he claimed that the protests were taking a large bite out of the company’s sales.
“The NFL has hurt us,” Schnatter said. “We are disappointed the NFL and its leadership did not resolve this.”
Steve Ritchie, the Chief Operating Officer of the pizza chain, will replace Schnatter on Jan. 1. Schnatter, who is the most public figure in the company, will remain the chairman of the board and the largest shareholder of Papa John’s stock. A decision about Schnatter still being the most noticeable spokesman for the company has not yet been made
Ritchie, like Schnatter, also criticized the league’s handling of the protests in the same November conference call.