LOUISVILLE, KENTUCKY — The man who is the “Papa” of Papa John’s pizza will no longer be the CEO of the company he started back in the 1980’s, according to the pizza chain’s executive board. Though John Schnatter will stay on as the chairman, leadership of the company will come from Steve Ritchie, who is currently the COO. Schnatter’s ouster comes as flagging sales and bad press have mired Papa John’s of late.
Schnatter unintentionally made Papa John’s the pizza of white nationalism when he told investors that controversy in the NFL over players kneeling to protest police brutality were hurting his chain’s sales. Being associated with Nazis was so tumultuous for the company that they were forced to issue a statement condemning racism “in all forms.”
“This should have been nipped in the bud a year and a half ago,” Schnatter said on a conference call with investors in November. “The controversy is polarizing the customer, polarizing the country.” (CNN)
This morning, Ritchie told reporters at a quarterly press conference that he wanted to assure the loyal fan of Papa Johnn’s that their pizza “will not change a bit” because of Schnatter’s removal from the CEO’s chair.
“The quality of the pizza you have come expect from Papa John’s will not change one iota,” Ritchie said. “It will not be any less shit-tastic or cardboardriffic. The sauce will not be any thicker, nor have any actual flavor. The pepperoni will continue to be shriveled and remind you of your balls early in the morning, when the cold has gotten them pulled up tightly in your scrotum. The cheese will not do anything other than just barely cover the tough, flavor-free crust on all our pies.”
Mr. Ritchie says he will personally make a guarantee about every single pizza Papa John’s makes and delivers under his watch.
“You will not gag any less than before. You will not wretch and heave and feel compelled to purge yourself with any less urgency,” Ritchie said. “And I promise you, as God as my witness, our pizza will not give you any less raging diarrhea almost immediately after you eat it, or you will get your money back. Because like our saying goes — cut rage ingredients, slave wages, better pizza, Papa John’s.”