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Ousted Papa John’s founder creates website to ‘save’ his company

Papa John’s founder John Schnatter lost his CEO title and board chair position as a result of racially divisive comments, but he hasn’t lost his majority stake in the company or his ability to directly communicate with the franchise’s employees.

Schnatter relinquished his role as board chair of the pizza franchise last month after using the n-word on a company conference call. This development followed him stepping down from his CEO position on Jan. This week, he launched SavePapaJohns.com, a website through which he can maintain contact with Papa John’s employees and the public. The home page of SavePapaJohns.com features a cover photo of Schnatter and a series of statements:

“I built Papa John’s from the ground up and remain its largest shareholder. I love my Company, its employees, franchisees and customers.

Other sections of the site include “About John,” which contains a biography of the 56-year-old founder and a bulleted list of honors and awards Schnatter has received; “Recent Developments,” where Schnatter has uploaded legal documents, statements and press releases and letters pertaining to his departure from company leadership (with titles such as “John’s Request For The Documents He Is Owed As A Director” and “The Company’s Answer, Refusing To Give John Anything”); and a series of links to “News Coverage” detailing Schnatter’s legal actions against the company and his unfavorable opinions of his successor, Steve Ritchie.

Schnatter resigned from his board seat on July 11. Since then, accusations that Schnatter engaged in

misconduct and fostered a “bro culture” within the company have surfaced. Schnatter has disputed the allegations.

Papa John’s has experienced losses attributed to Schnatter’s actions and reputation. Last month, it began offering its franchisees financial assistance to prevent closures.

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