Papa John’s Stock Soars After Chairman’s Resignation

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Papa John’s Worldwide

PZZA 12.41%

mentioned late Wednesday that its unbiased administrators have accepted the resignation of John Schnatter as board chairman, after he admitted to utilizing a racial slur in a convention name.

It’s the newest controversy for the pizza-chain founder, who stepped down as CEO late final yr following an uproar over feedback he made in regards to the Nationwide Soccer League’s dealing with of its gamers’ nationwide anthem protests.

Mr. Schnatter had publicly blamed the corporate’s current gross sales slide on declining TV soccer viewership and the NFL’s dealing with of the protests. The chain was a significant sponsor of the NFL till it ended the sponsorship in March.

Papa John’s enterprise continues to endure, with a 5.three% decline in North American same-store gross sales within the first quarter. The corporate’s complete income within the first quarter fell four.9% to $427 million.

On Thursday, Papa John’s inventory soared greater than 12% within the wake of the resignation.

The corporate is within the midst of efforts to show across the model, which incorporates introducing offers to compete with lower-cost rivals. The chain had lengthy used the promoting slogan “Higher Components. Higher Pizza.”

However rivals like

Domino’s Pizza


Yum Manufacturers

Pizza Hut improved their recipes lately whereas a wave of fast-casual chains resembling Pieology and Blaze Pizza have come alongside, leaving Papa John’s struggling to face out within the crowd.

Mr. Schnatter additionally resigned from the College of Louisville board of trustees Wednesday following a Forbes report that he used the N-word and made different remarks deemed offensive in a Could convention name.

Mr. Schnatter, a longtime college supporter who joined the board in January 2017, tendered his resignation, board Chairman J. David Grissom mentioned. His time period was slated to run out in 2022.

“After talking with John, I’m assured that his feedback, whereas inappropriate, don’t replicate his private beliefs or values,” Mr. Grissom mentioned in a press release. “No member of the board of trustees condones racism or insensitive language whatever the setting.”

In a press release issued earlier on Wednesday, Mr. Schnatter apologized for his actions.

Mr. Schnatter based Papa John’s in 1984 and turned it right into a three,400-unit chain in North America, with an additional 1,600 retailers abroad. He stepped down as CEO as soon as earlier than, in 2005, after a multiyear gross sales droop and returned three years later after product high quality started to slide, the corporate mentioned. In 2010, he shared the CEO job with one other govt, earlier than assuming the only CEO place once more a yr later.

Papa John’s mentioned it would appoint a brand new chairman within the coming weeks.

Write to Julie Jargon at

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