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Papa John's founder and CEO steps down

Papa John's founder and CEO steps down

As the founder, Schnatter has been one of the biggest names in fast food.

The founder and CEO of Papa John's Pizza, John Schattner, is stepping down from his position, the company announced on Thursday.

Schnatter sparked controversy in November when he slammed NFL leadership over players' kneeling during the national anthem to protest racial injustice and police brutality.

Later that month, the Louisville, Kentucky-based company said it didn't intend to be polarizing with the remarks.

Though no reason for Schnatter's resignation was given, the move comes almost two months after the pizza magnate, who founded the chain in 1984, made controversial statements blaming protesting National Football League players for falling pizza sales on an earnings call.

Schnatter, 56, founded Papa John's more than 30 years ago, turning a broom closet at his father's bar into a pizza spot.

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"Will NEVER buy papa Johns again!"

After Schnatter's comments, white supremacists vowed to make Papa John's the official pizza of the so-called alt-right. "The focus of the brand needs to be the pizza". "We couldn't have a more proven leader to guide Papa John's through its next stage of growth". Since then, it has grown to more than 5,000 locations.

Schnatter is the face of the company as well and appears in marketing and images for the company. Schnatter stepped away from the CEO role before, in 2005, but returned about three years later.

While the pizza chain's future was temporarily tossed in the air, it seems to have landed in loyal hands. McDonald's Corp., for example, expects to increase delivery from 5,000 of its almost 14,000 US locations by the end of the year. He became a Papa John's franchise owner and operator in 2006.

Ritchie said he will focus on making it easier to order Papa John's from anywhere, including form tweets, text messages, and voice-activated devices.

"The world is evolving and changing", he said. Ritchie worked as a delivery driver and store manager before becoming operating chief in 2014 and president in 2015. In 2010, he took on a co-CEO, Jude Thompson, but that arrangement ended the following year.