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Papa John’s founder feeling the heat

Papa John’s founder feeling the heat


Make that pizza to go.

Papa became a rolling stone on Sunday when Papa John's International Inc. formally invited embattled founder John Schnatter to hit the bricks.

A special board of directors committee consisting of all of the independent directors was formed to evaluate the company’s relationship with Mr. Schnatter, Papa John’s said in a statement, who stepped down as chairman on July 11 after admitting he used a racial slur during a business call.

“Since Mr. Schnatter no longer has an active role with the management of company’s business,” the statement said, “the special committee also approved and directed the company to terminate a sublease agreement granting Mr. Schnatter the right to use certain office space at the company’s corporate headquarters in Louisville, Kentucky.”

The special committee also directed the company to deep-six Mr. Schnatter’s founder agreement. Mr. Schnatter, who stepped down as CEO on Jan. 1, is no longer a spokesperson for the company or the brand.

“The company has specifically requested that Mr. Schnatter cease all media appearances and not make any further statements to the media regarding the company, its business or employees,” the statement said.

At least 11 sports teams have suspended their partnerships with Papa John's, and two universities have distanced themselves from the company or Mr. Schnatter following his comment. The mayor of Jeffersonville, Indiana, Mr. Schnatter’s hometown, returned a $400,000 donation from him to restore the historic Nachand Fieldhouse.

Mr. Schnatter apologized for the offensive comments, but he has also said his statement was taken out of context, and blamed the company’s marketing agency.








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