Papa John’s CEO Steve Ritchie leaves

  • Push-out Score determined
  • After less than two years in the position
  • Praise, thanks and good wishes for Ritchie
  • Rob Lynch taking over

(exechange) — Louisville, Kentucky, August 28, 2019 — Steve Ritchie, chief executive of Papa John’s, leaves. As announced by Papa John’s International Inc. in a news release published on Tuesday, August 27, 2019 and in a regulatory filing published on Wednesday, August 28, 2019, Steven M. Ritchie leaves his post as Chief Executive Officer at the pizza delivery company after less than two years in the role, effective immediately.

Among the 3,000 largest publicly held companies incorporated in the U.S. based on market capitalization, the average tenure of the CEOs who announced their departure over the past 12 months was 7.4 years, according to data compiled by exechange. On an accumulated basis, around 14% of the CEOs who announced their departure over the past 12 months left their posts within two years, and 24% left their posts within three years.

Steve Ritchie’s duties as CEO will be taken over by Robert (Rob) Lynch, most recently President of Arby’s Restaurant Group Inc.

The fact that Steve Ritchie’s successor is brought in from outside suggests that the board may seek to stimulate change with fresh ideas and new initiatives.

“Reigniting purpose-driven organizations”

A reason for Steve Ritchie’s departure from the CEO post was not explicitly provided. Papa John’s said: “As Papa John’s new President and CEO, Mr. Lynch’s priority is to focus the company and its franchisees on the brand’s tremendous future potential, building on Papa John’s history of great food, outstanding customer service and passionate team members. His record reigniting purpose-driven organizations, leading high-performing, collaborative teams and growing successful consumer brands was demonstrated most recently during his tenure at Arby’s. Mr. Lynch and his team transformed Arby’s into the “Fast-Crafted” QSR brand of choice, delivering 16 consecutive quarters of same store sales growth and achieving record sales and profits for the brand last year.”

Precise information regarding Steve Ritchie’s future plans was not immediately available.


Papa John’s said: “Mr. Lynch succeeds Steve M. Ritchie in the position of President and Chief Executive Officer effective August 26, 2019.”

Share price decline

The announcement follows a decline in Papa John’s International, Inc.’s share price of 25% since January 2018.

Chaired by Jeff Smith

Papa John’s International, Inc. is chaired by Jeff Smith.

Smith is a Managing Member, Chief Executive Officer and Chief Investment Officer of Starboard Value LP, a New York-based investment adviser with a focused and fundamental approach to investing primarily in publicly traded U.S. companies, which he founded in April 2011.

In the position of CEO since 2018

Steve Ritchie became CEO of the Company in January 2018.

Ritchie currently served as the Company’s President and Chief Executive Officer.

He previously served as President and Chief Operating Officer from July 2015 to December 2017, served as Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer from May 2014 to July 2015 and served as a Senior Vice President since 2010 (promoted in December 2010 to SVP, Corporate Operations and Global Operations Support and Training).

Since 2006, he also has served as a franchise owner and operator of multiple units in the Company’s Midwest Division.

Push-out Score determined

The Push-out Score™ determined by exechange gauges the pressure surrounding the management change on a scale of 0 to 10.

exechange reached out to Papa John’s and offered the company the opportunity to comment on the score.

Read the full story in the exechange report 35.2019 ($).