Culture

Former Papa John’s Owner: They Stole The Company And Now They’ve Destroyed It

John Schnatter, Papa John’s founder and ex-CEO, is one of the two founders of Pizza Hut, so he knows what he is doing and what he is talking about when he claims Papa John’s quality has gone down since he left.

Since Schnatter left the quality of the promotions, the company runs have diminished considerably. For example, just a couple of years ago, if our local sports teams won, you got a code for 45% of a pizza the next day. That promo is long gone. In the past, when Pizza Hut or Domino’s ran a promotion, you could count on Papa John’s to run an equivalent. No longer. Domino’s has been running $7.99 for a three-topping pizza, and Papa John’s is running nothing close. Guess where my business has gone? This entire situation with Schnatter has left me with a lot of questions.

The board of directors was looking for a reason to get rid of him. The bad language was the perfect opportunity. I don’t understand why he “resigned” in the first place if he wasn’t a controlling shareholder. It sounds like he’s more angry with himself than the board of directors. Regret can hurt.

“I’ve had over 40 pizzas in the last 30 days,” John Schnatter told WDRB News, a Fox affiliate in Louisville, Kentucky, in an interview this week. “And it’s not the same pizza. It’s not the same product. It just doesn’t taste as good.”

Schnatter resigned as Papa John’s chairman in 2018 after admitting to using the N-word during a company conference call earlier that year. The Papa John’s founder had stepped down as CEO in December 2017 following backlash for his criticism of NFL players kneeling during the national anthem before games to protest police brutality.

In the WDRB News interview, Schnatter described his ousting as a “farce.” He slammed Papa John’s new leaders, including Steve Ritchie, who replaced him as CEO, and the board members Olivia Kirtley and Mark Shapiro, both of whom Schnatter said “should be in jail.”

“They stole the company, and now they’ve destroyed the company,” Schnatter said.

Schnatter told WDRB News that he believes the truth about his ousting has yet to emerge. “The day of reckoning will come,” Schnatter said.

Their pizza is bland and disgusting. I have found that honestly, every small area has an awesome local mom and pop pizza place that far out stripes anything that the big chains put out. When it comes to the larger chains honestly for the price, Domino’s and Little Caesars beats out Papa John’s and Pizza Hut, in my opinion.

This guy needs to accept what happened and move on it’s not like he was pushed out and is now destitute he had a massive package offered when he left, and he is wealthy beyond anything he could spend the rest of his life. If anything, this should be a story of caution for anyone thinking about taking their company public.

Yes, you do have the potential to become insanely wealthy, but when you do it, you no longer have full control over anything and any point in time the board of directors can remove you from the company you founded and built from the ground up. Very few people seem to understand or realize that, and there have been many CEOs removed from the company they established over the years. It is the risk you take if you go public. You no longer have full control, and you do have bosses, the board of directors, and your investors.

This means you can no longer do; however, you please, with your own company, you have to listen to those above you, and if you don’t, they will remove you.

From a similar experience, I will tell you to let it go. Don’t be critical of the new team. Just be happy with what you have done, and share your good fortune with the people who helped you make it to the top. Don’t be angry, don’t worry about getting even, it will steal the joy you can have the rest of a good and comfortable life. Just let it go.

That’s the problem with becoming a big corporation. You start a business, make it successful, name it after yourself, go national, get a board of directors, a place in the stock market, and then you no longer are the owner. Just a board member that can be fired. If it were me, I would never relinquish 1% of my ownership. Never.

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Posted by Wayne Dupree Show on Saturday, November 23, 2019

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