Papa John's Founder John Schnatter Steps Down

Company CEO Steve Ritchie will replace Schnatter in January.




Papa John's

According to a press release from Papa John's International, the company has announced the promotion of Steve Ritchie to Chief Executive Officer, replacing current CEO John Schnatter, effective January 1, 2018. Mr. Ritchie will lead Papa John’s global development and facilitate the brand’s marketing, digital and customer experience evolution. 

The company release goes on to state that Mr. Ritchie, 43, started with Papa John's in 1996 as a customer service representative at $6 per hour. In 2006, he became a Papa John's franchise owner and operator, then in 2010 began serving in increasing capacities of leadership in operations until being promoted to Chief Operating Officer in 2014. Ritchie was added to the succession plan for the company's top job in 2015 when he was named President.

In his duties as Chairman and founder, John Schnatter will continue to champion the core principles that led to recognition as the industry leader in product quality and customer satisfaction. He will also pursue his personal passion for entrepreneurship, leadership development and education.

An article in USA Today says that Schnatter "recently ran into controversy when he blamed NFL players' mass move to drop to one knee during the playing of the national anthem as affecting his company's sales." The article went on to say that Schnatter isn't alone when it comes to CEOs who have stepped down recently, noting, "Last month, Chipotle Mexican Grill CEO Steve Ells would become executive chairman and Panera Bread's Ron Shaich announced that he would step down, but retain his position as board chairman."

Edit Module

Tell us what you think at or email.

Edit Module
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Related Articles

George R.R. Martin Lists His Favorite New York Pizza Joints

While the fantasy author's fans wait impatiently for his next book, the "Game of Thrones" creator dawdles over a cheese slice at Di Fara.

President Bush Liked His Pizza Loaded With Toppings

As America mourns its 41st president, a Houston pizzaiolo reflects on an unlikely but enduring friendship.

How Restaurants Can Use Their Data to Make Decisions

Just like the big chains, smaller pizzeria owners should learn how to use data to boost business.

The Dough Must Go On: 5 Pizza Tips From the Dough Doctor

Tom "The Dough Doctor" Lehmann offers suggestions for achieving the right dough temperature, reducing bubbles and more.

Get Ready for Spaghetti-Crust Pizza From Tony Boloney's

This one-of-a-kind signature pie, inspired by owner Mike Hauke's father-in-law, has oodles of noodles and big, spicy flavor.

PMQ and the U.S. Pizza Team hit London

Fierce competition at the European Pizza Championship and 3rd European Pizza & Pasta Show

Your Pie Hires New Chief Operating Officer

Dave McDougal has more than 30 years of experience in franchise operations, development and expansion.

Blood Donors Get Free Pie From Fratelli Pizza During Holiday Season

Fratelli, an Arizona chain, has partnered with blood services organization Vitalant for the promotion.

UK Pizzeria Wants to Give Away 20,000 Free Pizzas to the Hungry in December

Franco Manca has pledged to work with local charities, food shelters and food banks to help those dealing with food insecurity around the UK.

Reality Show Stars Do Their Own Thing With Pizza Nostra

Karen Gravano and RaMona Rizzo of "Mob Wives" have opened a Mafia-themed pizzeria in New Jersey.
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module
Edit Module
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags