Papa John’s CEO John Schnatter leaves post at short notice

  • Push-out Score suggests push-out forces
  • After almost seven years in the position
  • Steve Ritchie taking over
  • Schnatter will remain as Chairman at Papa John’s
  • Schnatter spoke at length and said 84 words

(exechange) — Louisville, Kentucky, December 21, 2017 — John Schnatter, chief executive of Papa John’s, leaves the position. It is a change at short notice. As announced by Papa John’s International, Inc. in a news release and in a regulatory filing published on Thursday, December 21, 2017, John H. Schnatter leaves his post as Chief Executive Officer at the pizza delivery company after almost seven years in the position, effective January 1, 2018.

Among the 3,000 largest publicly held companies incorporated in the U.S. based on market capitalization, the average tenure of the CEOs who departed over the past twelve months was 8.8 years, according to data compiled by exechange.

Schnatter’s duties will be taken over by Steve Ritchie, currently President and Chief Operating Officer at Papa John’s International, Inc.

No reason given

In the announcement, Papa John’s did not explicitly explain the reason for Schnatter’s imminent move, opening the door for speculation.

Schnatter will remain as Chairman at Papa John’s

“In his duties as Chairman and founder, Schnatter will continue to champion the core principles that led to recognition as the industry leader in product quality and customer satisfaction. He will also pursue his personal passion for entrepreneurship, leadership development and education,” Papa John’s said.

Alarm signal

Generally speaking, it is often an alarm signal for stockholders when a CEO leaves the position at short notice and without a reasonable explanation.

Share price decline

The change follows a decline in the share price of Papa John’s International, Inc. since December 2016.

In the position of CEO since 2011

Schnatter has been the Chief Executive Officer of Papa John’s International Inc. since April 15, 2011.

Schnatter founded Papa John’s in 1984 and opened the first Company restaurant in 1985.

He currently serves as Founder, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer.

He previously served as Co‑ Chief Executive Officer from April 2010 to April 2011, Chief Executive Officer from April 2009 to April 2010, Interim Chief Executive Officer from December 2008 to April 2009, Executive Chairman from 2005 until May 2007, as Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer from 1990 until 2005, and as President from 1985 to 1990, from 2001 to 2005, and from 2014 to 2015.

Push-out Score suggests push-out forces

It is not completely certain what forces eventually triggered John Schnatter’s imminent move.

The Push-out Score™ determined by exechange suggests that push-out forces may have contributed to the management change.

Read the full story in the exechange report 52.2017 ($).