By Jonathan Sperling
July 16, 2018

A special committee of Papa John’s Board of Directors has decided to kick founder John Schnatter out of his office at the company’s headquarters in Louisville, Ky., the board announced in a statement Sunday. The move comes after Schnatter resigned after using racist language during a conference call.

The committee, made up of the company’s independent directors, decided to approve the termination of a sublease agreement that granted Schnatter the office space, citing the fact that he no longer has an active role in respect to the management of the company’s business.

The decision comes in the wake of Schnatter’s resignation as company chairman following his use of the N-word during a media-training conference call in May. Schnatter also described in graphic detail the lynching of African Americans in his home state of Indiana, albeit in the context of making a point about not being racist. The call eventually led the company’s marketing agency, Laundry Service, to cut all ties.

The board also also directed the company to terminate Schnatter’s Founder Agreement, which outlined his role as an advertising and brand spokesperson for the pizza delivery company, among other things.

“As previously announced, Mr. Schnatter is no longer a spokesperson for the company or the brand. The company has specifically requested that Mr. Schnatter cease all media appearances, and not make any further statements to the media regarding the company, its business or employees,” the board said in a statement to investors.

In the future, the special committee intends to supervise an external audit and investigation that will be conducted on the company’s existing processes, policies, and systems related to diversity and inclusion, supplier and vendor engagement, and company culture.

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