Papa John's Shareholders Are Agitated By The Battle Between CEO Steve Ritchie And The Chairman/Founder


Steve Ritchie has been in the pizza business since 1996. He started taking orders at a pizza store at the age of 18, and the job paid $6 per hour. He soon worked his way up to store manager. Steve bought a pizzeria when he was a senior in high school.


He was working at the Papa John's chain, and sometime later, Steve was promoted into the role of district supervisor for several of their shops. The company has thousands of franchised locations on a global level. He loves the business, and he rapidly moved up in the organization. His next position was as the Director of Global Operations. He was later named as the President of the pizza giant, and now he is the Chief Operating Officer. His next corporate role came at the age of 38 when he became the Chief Executive Officer. He is the current CEO of the company. In Steve's own words, pizza is his life.

Papa John's has over 4,000 stores, and they operate in 35 countries. Most of the stores are owned and operated by franchisees. However, a large number the locations are corporate-owned. The company was founded in 1984 by John Schnatter. He served as the CEO until 2018. It was when John stepped down that Steve Ritchie assumed the position. John Schnatter is the current Chairman of the Board. The company has grown to become the third largest pizza chain in the country. In many ways, Steve looked up to him as his mentor, and the two men were good friends. They are now in a battle over who will control the corporation.

Steve had no formal training, and he did not attend college. All of his trading was on the job learning the pizza industry. He has said his that he was educated at the Papa John's University. The turmoil that he is facing with the founder is making him uneasy. John has taken their fight public, and he has recently had a lot to say about the situation while Steve is more of an introvert. He is troubled about his future in a field that has been his life endeavor thus far. Things have gotten worse recently since the company announced a drop in earnings. Schnatter has been criticized for some of his remarks.

The situation between Steve Ritchie and John Schnatter has been escalating, and now that the earnings have been affecting the organization's stock price, it is a newly fired-up fight. Shareholders are angered by the effects of the internal drama between these two high-ranking executives. It is a worsening situation that is bound to come to a head especially now that it has hurt the firm's bottom line. The public is reacting to the controversy, and even players in the NFL are protesting the company. It's no secret that the share value has dropped by half in only the past year. Financial analysts are verbalizing and reacting about what they see happening as a severe threat to the future sales volume and stock value of the company.

The company has reacted by announcing that they will lower the royalties and franchise fees they charge to their franchisees in North America. The President of the company's franchise association, Vaughn Frey, has publically stated that John Schnatter should step down from his position as Chairman of the ailing pizza franchise.

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