Shaq Joins Papa John’s Board, Looks to Restore Pizza Chain’s Image
Superman is in the building and Papa John’s needs saving!
Since founder and then-CEO John Schnatter stepped down two months ago for racists comments directed towards NFL players, the company’s sales have declined in each of the past five quarters. The company has distanced themselves from their former head and are looking to turn things around after receiving a $200-million investment from hedge fund Starboard Value.
A culture change within the company remained necessary and NBA Hall of Famer Shaquille O’Neal has opted to join the company as its next spokesperson.
Now a member of Papa John’s board of directors, O’Neal is no stranger to the food industry. He owns a Krispy Kreme Doughnuts franchise in Atlanta, a Big Chicken fast food joint in Las Vegas, and has his own restaurant situated in Los Angeles.
He will also invest in nine Papa John’s stores across Atlanta and be owed $8.25 million over three-years from Papa John’s for his endorsement.
“Shaquille has an excellent entrepreneurial background, including as a restaurant franchise owner, and is a natural creative marketer,” said Jeff Smith, chairman of Papa John’s board of directors.
Since the announcement, Papa John’s stock has risen by about 5-percent.
“Papa John’s is building a better culture, and I want to be a part of improving the [company] from the inside,” O’Neal said.
Just call him the Big Businessman!