Papa John’s Pizza sales are plummeting, and while the obvious reason seems to be CEO John Schnatter’s use of a racial slur revealed earlier this year, Schnatter himself blames the new CEO for the company’s problems.
As WYMT-TV (Hazard, Kentucky) reports, sales at the pizza carryout and delivery chain dropped 10.5 percent in July, while the value of the company’s shares fell 9 percent. Meanwhile, the company has reduced its sales projections for this year.
The drop in sales and stock value follows revelations, revealed earlier this month by Forbes, that founder and then-CEO John Schnatter used a racial slur.
As previously reported by the Inquisitr, back in November 2017 Papa John’s was already in the midst of a sales slump. Schnatter caused controversy when he blamed the company’s declining sales on the controversy over NFL players not standing for the national anthem. That gaffe cost him his position as CEO of the company – he was replaced by Steve Ritchie – but he maintained his position as chairman of the board.
Following the anthem controversy, Schnatter and other executives attempted to contain the damage and hired a public relations firm, Laundry Service, in order to mitigate the effects. During a conference call, Schnatter used a racial slur.
“Colonel Sanders called blacks ‘N*****s.’”
In that same conference call, Schnatter also allegedly said that during his (Schnatter’s) childhood in Indiana, it wasn’t uncommon for people to drag blacks behind pickup trucks until they died.
Schnatter late resigned as chairman of the board.
Papa John’s founder John Schnatter will not "go quietly" as the company tries to push him away https://t.co/VQ5eFnv0mP— The New York Times (@nytimes) July 18, 2018
Schnatter, who remains the company’s largest shareholder, has vowed not to “go quietly,” however. He’s already sued his company, saying that the board essentially forced him out of his job without doing all of the necessary due diligence.
“The board asked me to step down as chairman without apparently doing any investigation. I agreed, though today I believe it was a mistake to do so. I have checked with corporate governance experts who tell me that this was not a proper action by the board.”
Specifically, Schnatter wants records of the infamous conference call, which he says will clear his name.
The company, according to MSN, called the lawsuit “needless and wasteful.”
As for the company’s declining sales, Schnatter points the blame squarely at Ritchie, while at the same time insisting that the company is trying to blame him for its problems.
Meanwhile, sales receipts for rival pizzeria chain Domino’s have been steadily increasing.