LOUISVILLE, Ky. – John Schnatter, founder of Papa John’s pizza chain, resigned as chairman of the board after he admitted and apologized for using a racial slur during a May conference call with a public relations agency.
In a statement, the company said, “Papa John’s International Inc. today announced that the independent directors of the company have accepted the resignation of John H. Schnatter as Chairman of the Board. Olivia Kirtley acts as the company’s lead independent director. Papa John’s will appoint a new Chairman of the Board in the coming weeks.”
Schnatter’s resignation comes after he resigned in December 2017 as CEO of the company following critical remarks he made about national anthem protests during National Football League games. As first reported by Forbes, the purpose of the call with the media agency, Laundry Service, was to discuss the impact of Schnatter’s comments which suggested the protests were responsible for declining sales at the pizza chain.
Shares of Papa John’s slid more than 5 percent following news of Schnatter’s use of a racial slur and other controversial comments. The stock later recovered somewhat, closing down more than 4 percent.