LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Papa John’s founder John Schnatter continued his fight against the company and current CEO Steve Ritchie with a letter posted on Aug. 27
On his new website, savepapajohns.com, Schnatter makes a variety of claims about Ritchie and the rest of the executive team. Schnatter alleges in the letter that an employee that reported to Ritchie was having an affair with another employee to gain “secretly accessed” information about a draft of Schnatter’s review of Ritchie’s job performance.
“Bad financial decisions, insufficient management skills to correct them, a toxic senior management culture, and serious misconduct at the top levels of our leadership team have prompted some in the company to use me as an excuse to distract from those cold realities,” Schnatter wrote in the letter.
The letter also claimed that in June Schnatter told the board of Papa John’s that Ritchie “needed to go” and the board agreed.
Papa John’s Senior Director of Public Relations Peter Collins provided MEAT+POULTRY with the following statement.
“Once again, John Schnatter is making untrue and disparaging statements in a self-serving attempt to distract from the damaging impact his own words and actions have had on the Company and our stakeholders,” the company statement said. “At no time has the Board asked John Schnatter to become Executive Chairman. In fact, the company has taken multiple steps to separate itself from him. John Schnatter also publicly supported Steve Ritchie’s appointment as CEO at the end of last year.”
In July, Schnatter 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.
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.