Just a few weeks ago, Papa John’s – one of the most popular pizza chains in the United States – found itself in even more controversy than it had already found itself in throughout the previous year; the founder and now-former chief executive officer had used the N-word when talking on a conference call with a marketing company Papa John’s used the services of.
According to Yahoo Finance, even though that now-retired leader didn’t actually call somebody the N-word or say things that would have suggested he was racist, news of the racial slur’s usage in the workplace – the digital workplace of a private conference call is still very much a workplace – was shared with the world just moments after that conference call ended. Within a few days of the slur’s usage becoming known to virtually all of planet Earth, that executive stepped down from Papa John’s in the name of preserving the welfare of the businesses.
Steve Ritchie Papa John’s was named the chief executive officer of Papa John’s earlier this year – the specific date of hire was January 1, 2018. Mr. Ritchie is also the president of the pizza delivery company, though he hadn’t been elected to the role recently – he was made the president of Papa John’s on July 30, 2015. Ritchie has worked for the company since 1996.
Here’s what he did right after the mention of the N-word caused the company’s welfare to tank
Virtually every reasonable, reliable person who has ever been accused – whether accusations are true or not doesn’t matter; it only matters if public opinion believes they are true – of things like sexual assault, harassment, embezzling money, or anything else that isn’t good and can cause a company to get a bad reputation has stepped down from their roles shortly after such accusations are made.
Ritchie knew that the founder left too late; he simply had to write a letter to stakeholders to inform them of what he was doing for the company.
He shared that executives would be traveling around the nation to get consumers’ feedback and the company would be hiring an auditing firm to check out its general culture. Shortly after, shares and the average person’s perception of Papa John’s went up. Read this article about Ritchie’s promotion.
Recommended reading: insiderlouisville.com/tag/steve-ritchie/