-New York Post.
Papa John’s said Schnatter will be replaced as CEO by its 43-year-old chief operating officer, Steve Ritchie, who has been with Papa John’s for 21 years.
Papa John’s, the official pizza sponsor of the NFL, ended up apologizing last month after white supremacists praised Schnatter’s comments.
Schnatter, meanwhile, blamed the anthem controversy along with the league’s response to it for Papa John’s flat revenues in the most recent quarter.
“The NFL leadership has hurt Papa John’s shareholders,” Schnatter griped at the time, adding that the protests “should have been nipped in the bud a year and a half ago.”
Former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick had kneeled during the national anthem to protest what he said was police mistreatment of black men, and other players started kneeling in support as well.
“The controversy is polarizing the customer, polarizing the country,” Schnatter said.
Papa John’s shares sank 13 percent after his remarks on an earnings call.
Despite his ouster as CEO, Schnatter will remain chairman of the company he founded in 1984.
But Ritchie’s role could be short-lived, given Schnatter’s history. In 2005, during another dip in sales, Schnatter stepped down as CEO, only to take over the helm again five years later.