Papa John’s pizza founder John Schnatter is out as CEO after his criticism over the NFL protests cost the company big bucks.
Papa John’s pizza founder John Schnatter has had a long history of running his mouth off and it has finally caught up to him. The 56-year-old heavily criticized NFL for allowing players to take a knee during National Anthem protests and even blamed them for causing a slump in his pizza sales. The backlash was swift and heavy against his comments, which many took to be racist. On Dec. 21 he told investors that he was stepping down as CEO from the company he founded in 1984. He told them on a conference call that, “Leadership starts at the top, and this is an example of poor leadership,” about his disses at the NFL that has cost the company millions. We’ve got five things to know about the controversial entrepreneur.
1. John started his business in his dad’s tavern and grew it into a massive corporation.
In 1984 he sold his Chevy Camaro to buy pizza making supplies and began selling them to customers at his father’s Kentucky bar. He built the business in to the third largest takeout and delivery pizza chain in the world that is today worth $3 billion dollars.
2. John infuriated many NFL fans by blaming team owners for allowing players taking a knee as a way of protesting racial injustice, claiming it cost him money and sales.
He made comments to investors that “NFL leadership has hurt Papa John’s shareholders” and that the protests “should have been nipped in the bud a year and a half ago,” referring to Colin Kaepernick, 29, who started the movement while playing for the San Francisco 49ers. After massive backlash, he said “I sincerely apologize to anyone that thought they were divisive.” Umm…in other words he was sorry if you were offended, but he wasn’t sorry about what he said. See pics of the NFL players protests, here.
3. His company has taken a massive hit since John’s explosive NFL comments.
The company’s stock is down a whopping 13 percent his he made his polarizing player protest comments. The company even had to come out and say that they weren’t pro-Nazi after some alt-right and white supremacist groups wanted to make Papa John’s their official pizza after he slammed the racial injustice protests. That’s never a good look for any corporation.
4. John was a vocal opponent of the Affordable Care Act and threatened to raise pizza prices if he had to give his full-time employees health insurance.
In 2012 he told investors, “If Obamacare is in fact not repealed, we will find tactics to shallow out any Obamacare costs and core strategies to pass that cost onto consumers in order to protect our shareholders’ best interests.” He claimed that to insure his employees he would need to raise the costs of pizza and deliveries. In turn, many customers vowed to take their business elsewhere or offer to pay the extra 14 cents per pie that he claimed the ACA would cost him.
5. John is a Christian Evangelical and Donald Trump supporter.
The longtime Republican was also a top donor to 2012 Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, 70, who held fundraisers at John’s $8 million Kentucky mansion modeled after an Italian villa that features a pool, golf course and massive grounds.
HollywoodLifers, are you a fan of Papa John’s pizza? Or do you think it tastes like cardboard?