Papa John’s pizza was founded nearly 34 years ago inside a broom closet in Jeffersonville, Indiana, when “Papa” John Schnatter started making pizzas for the patrons at his father’s bar. It’s grown into a publicly traded company on the S&P 400, with around 4,700 locations around the world. As of 2016, Papa John’s was the third-largest pizza delivery company in the U.S., after Domino’s and Pizza Hut.
But last fall, the chain known for inventing pizza dipping sauces started to hit some snags. Schnatter stepped down as CEO after making snide statements about NFL players on an earnings call, and exited his own board after allegations of sexual misconduct. He is now embroiled in a public spat with the company; Schnatter still owns 30 percent of it. Papa John’s board wants nothing more than to distance the brand name from its namesake, who has become a loose cannon and serious liability.
Papa John’s stock has fallen steadily since reaching a high of $86 per share at the end of 2016. Here’s the latest in a feud that’s rocking the pizza world.