Chris Holden

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CEO Steve Ritchie

by Chris Holden - September 4th, 2018.
Filed under: Business, News.

The NFL dropped Papa John’s as its official pizza after its founder, John Schnatter, blamed the NFL’s inability to fix the national anthem issue with his company’s falling sales. He then made another huge blunder on behalf of his company by using a racial slur on a conference call. This second blunder has caused baseball stadiums to pull Papa John’s advertising. Doing his best to amend for the errors of its founder Papa John’s CEO, Steve Ritchie Papa Johns wrote a very carefully worded apology to all of his customers. He told these customers that Papa John’s was going to bring in some outside experts to audit their culture, diversity, and inclusion practices.

And he said the top leadership of the company would also be proactive in this matter. He said the senior management team would also be doing their own active research on this matter by interviewing employees and franchisees all across the country. Ritchie (@stevemritchie) promised to personally lead this research and be as transparent with its customers as much as possible going forward. Another letter of apology was written and published on Papa John’s website. Expert analysts say this apology letter was much less effective because there was no sense of compassion and only a very short, curt apology. The direct to customers letter is considered far better because it had empathy, vulnerability, and a very sincere apology. See Ritchie’s profile on crunchbase.

He was careful to verbally distance Schnatter from the company and its outlook on things. In a post from, it says that he was also very clear in the direct to customers letter that Ritchie’s words certainly did not represent the views of himself or the companies 120,000 other employees. It looks like the apology has been effective and that Papa John’s is coming back from the brink. However, they most likely cannot to make any more such mistakes.

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