Papa John’s International, Inc. (NASDAQ: PZZA) today announced the promotion of Steve Ritchie to the position of Chief Operating Officer. In addition, the Company’s Founder, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, John Schnatter, will assume the additional role of President of the Company, continuing to focus on all aspects of the Company’s business, while also acting as brand spokesperson.
“Steve is an outstanding operator with a track record of success, and a tremendous asset to our entire system,” said Schnatter. “Steve and I are passionate about the Papa John’s brand, and will work with our global franchise and corporate operators and the rest of this outstanding management team to continue to grow the brand and our quality position around the world.”
In his new role, Mr. Ritchie will lead all aspects of the Company’s global operations, support and training in over 4,400 restaurants in 35 countries. He will also lead the Company’s research and development, quality assurance, PJ Food Service and supply chain functions. As part of the leadership changes, Chief Financial Officer, Chief Administrative Officer & Treasurer, Lance Tucker, will assume leadership of the Company’s Information Systems functions, including its online ordering platform, and the Human Resources function. In their expanded roles, both Mr. Ritchie and Mr. Tucker will play key roles in the Company’s strategic planning process.
Mr. Ritchie has served in various capacities of increasing responsibility since joining Papa John’s in 1996, including Senior Vice President, North and Latin American Operations & Global OST from July 2012 to May 2013, Senior Vice President, North American Operations & Global OST from August 2011 until July 2012, Senior Vice President, Operations and Global OST from December 2010 until August 2011 and Vice President, Operations & Global OST from July 2010 until December 2010. Since 2006, he also has served as a franchise owner and operator of multiple units in the Company’s Midwest Division. Mr. Tucker was appointed Chief Administrative Officer in July 2012 and Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer in February 2011. Mr. Tucker previously held the positions of Chief of Staff and Senior Vice President, Strategic Planning from June 2010 to February 2011, after serving as Chief of Staff and Vice President, Strategic Planning since June 2009.
Mr. Schnatter created the Papa John’s concept and started operations in 1984. As Founder, Chairman, CEO and President, Mr. Schnatter will lead the Company’s management team and continue to focus on marketing, together with Chief Marketing Officer, Bob Kraut.