Papa John's Founder John Schnatter Exits as CEO

Papa John's Founder John Schnatter Exits as CEO

The move comes two months after he publicly criticized NFL leadership over national anthem protests by NFL players.

Ritchie, 43, began his career with the pizza chain in 1996 as a customer service representative and slowly worked his way up, eventually becoming a franchisee owner in 2006.

Now Papa John's may decide to find a new pitchman besides Schnatter.

"This should have been nipped in the bud a year and a half ago", Schnatter said on a conference call with investors.

"With 120,000 Papa John's corporate and franchise employees, Steve will put the spotlight on our pizza and the most important ingredient - our team members", Schnatter said.

Cuban President Raul Castro to step down in April 2018
It will be the first time in almost 60 years that a leader other than Castro or his late older brother Fidel ruled the country. Elections have been delayed due to the extensive damage caused to the island by Hurricane Irma, state media reported .

The pizza chain has seen its stock price decline about 13 percent since the remarks were made and down about 30 percent since the beginning of this year. Papa John's added Ritchie to the succession plan for the company's top job in 2015 when he was named president.

On December 21, 2017, Schnatter announced he will step down from his position as CEO on January 1, 2018.

And in the wake of his remarks - for which the company tried to apologize almost two weeks later - the white supremacist website Daily Stormer floated the idea that Papa John's was the "official pizza of the alt-right". "We do not want these individuals or groups to buy our pizza", the company said following the post on Papa John's being the official pizza of the alt-right. He took a break from being CEO between 2005 and 2008.

In 1983, Schnatter sold his Chevy Camaro to help his father's struggling business and used the leftover profits to start Papa John's. "We couldn't have a more proven leader to guide Papa John's through its next stage of growth". Schnatter announced his decision when the market closed.

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