PAPA John’s founder John Schnatter has stepped down as company chairman.
Schnatter, 56, quit over comments he made in May 2018. Here’s what we know…
What is John Schnatter’s net worth?
John Schnatter, born in Indiana, US, on November 22 1961, has an estimated net worth of £681million ($900million).
He graduated from Ball State University in 1983 with a business degree.
Schnatter married wife Annette in 1987 and the couple share three children.
The former pizza boss identifies as an Evangelical Christian, and is a member of the Southeast Christian Church.
When did he found Papa John’s?
Schnatter founded the Papa John’s empire in 1984.
He converted the broom closet in the back of his father’s tavern to launch operations.
Schnatter reportedly sold his 1971 Z28 Camaro to purchase £1,200 ($1,600) worth of pizza equipment.
Within a year, his pizzas were so popular, he was able to move into an established space.
The company is now the third largest pizza delivery chain in the world.
Why has Schnatter resigned?
Schnatter resigned as chairman of the pizza company on July 12, 2018.
He quit from his job post after he used the N-word in a conference call during a media training session two months beforehand.
The call involved a role-playing exercise, according to Forbes, so Schnatter could practice how to deal with certain tricky issues.
He was reportedly called in for the session after he criticised the NFL over the players national anthem protests.
In the role-playing exercise, Schnatter was asked how he would distance himself from racist groups.
He expressed his fury that Colonel Sanders, the founder of KFC never faced backlash for using the word.
It comes after he quit as chief executive last year, for criticising the NFL.
Papa John said in a statement: “Papa John’s condemns racism and any insensitive language, no matter the situation or setting.
“We take great pride in the diversity of the Papa John’s family, though diversity and inclusion is an area we will continue to strive to do better.”
Schnatter told Forbes: “News reports attributing the use of inappropriate and hurtful language to me during a media training session regarding race are true.
“Regardless of the context, I apologise. Simply stated, racism has no place in our society.”
Why is Schnatter taking Papa Johns to court?
Schnatter is taking the company to court in an attempt to gain access to documents relating to his exit from the company.
His lawyers said they wanted to see the documents because of the “unexplained and heavy-handed way” the pizza firm had treated him.
His attorneys said they were “seeking to inspect Company documents because of the unexplained and heavy-handed way in which the Company has treated him since the publication of a story that falsely accused him of using a racial slur”.
“Rather than address the real issues like the health of the business, the company is hiding documents that, we believe, will disclose the actual facts as to what is occurring here, including using Mr Schnatter as a scapegoat to cover up their own shortcomings and failures,” they added.
In a statement Papa John’s said the company was “saddened and disappointed” that Mr Schnatter had filed a “needless and wasteful lawsuit in an attempt to distract from his own words and actions”.
It added: “We are providing Mr Schnatter all of the materials he is entitled to as a director.
“We will not let his numerous mis-statements in the complaint and elsewhere distract us from the important work we are doing to move the business forward for our 120,000 corporate and franchise team members, and our franchisees, customers and stakeholders.”