By Natasha Bach
August 8, 2018

Papa John’s took a beating in the second-quarter—and it thinks Papa John is to blame.

But Papa John, otherwise known as John Schnatter, the founder of the franchise, does not appear to agree.

In a statement released following Papa John’s second-quarter results on Tuesday, Schnatter highlighted that the company’s sales have been declining since late 2016. Claiming that “the financial results announced today further exemplify” his concerns that were first articulated nearly two years ago, Schnatter asserted that the financial performance of the company has deteriorated “under the tenure of Steve Ritchie,” the current CEO.

“Instead of addressing the real and fundamental issues confronting the Company since that time period, and taking actions to turn sales around,” Schnatter continued, “the Company is trying to deflect attention from the source of the problem—management’s ongoing failures with regard to financial performance—and blame me for its problems.”

Schnatter emphasized that the financial decline of Papa John’s began prior to the race-related controversies surrounding him, going so far as to claim that “history shows that the Company performs better with me involved, and it declines when I step away.”

While he suggested in the statement that Papa John’s financial performance “will continue to deteriorate” under the current leadership, Schnatter concluded that he is “not going away.”

“[I] will continue to fight to do what’s best for the Company and its employees, franchisees, shareholders, and customers,” he said. Schnatter remains on the board of directors and is the company’s largest shareholder.

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