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Papa John CEO forced to step down over National Football League protest response

25 December 2017, 05:33 | Lucy Hill

Papa John CEO forced to step down over National Football League protest response

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The pizza maker's stock has lost more than 30 percent of its value since the beginning of 2017, and Schnatter believed declining sales were related to the NFL's decline in ratings.

Though Schnatter will hand the reins to longtime deputy Steve Ritchie, who already oversees operations, the move raised fresh questions about a company that's suffered a sales slump this year.

"The controversy is polarizing the customer, polarizing the country", Schnatter said during a conference call about the company's earnings on November 1.

The Colin Kaepernick #TakeAKnee protest has taken out Papa John's CEO and Founder John Schnatter. Shares of the pizza chain have lost about a third of their value this year, putting them on course for the first annual decline since 2008. "He will also pursue his personal passion for entrepreneurship, leadership development and education".

We guess Papa John's is going to have to find "better ingredients" for their boardroom...

Industry insiders were caught off guard by Schnatter's decision.

Schnatter is not leaving Papa John's entirely.

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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.

Jones had praised Schnatter in the wake of his comments on player protests, calling the Papa John's CEO "one of the great Americans" in an interview on 105.3 The Fan in Dallas.

Apparently, Schnatter believed that the controversy over national anthem protests during football games led people to watch football and eat pizza less.

Papa John's will no longer have Papa John as CEO.

Goodell critics have said that he should force players to stand for the anthem.

"This should have been nipped in the bud a year and a half ago", Schnatter also said about the anthem protests, CNN reported. "That definitely was not our intention", the company said on Twitter. "There is a way to do both".

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