Forbes - - STRATEGIES -

John Sch­nat­ter, founder of Papa John’s, joined the Forbes bil­lion­aire ranks in Jan­uary 2017 af­ter his pizza chain’s stock hit an all-time high. “As long as our qual­ity and com­pany con­tinue to get bet­ter, by na­ture we will get big­ger,” he told us. Turns out the con­verse might be true as well: Papa John’s shares are down 41% in the last 12 months. One rea­son: Sch­nat­ter him­self. Last Novem­ber he cri­tiqued the NFL’s han­dling of na­tional-an­them protests as a “de­ba­cle,” which cost him his CEO ti­tle. (Papa John’s was a ma­jor spon­sor of the league.) Then, this sum­mer, Forbes re­ported that he used a racial slur dur­ing a me­dia-train­ing ex­er­cise in May. Sch­nat­ter, 56, stepped down as chair­man the night our re­port posted, but he’s now su­ing Papa John’s, ar­gu­ing his ouster con­sti­tuted a “coup.” The com­pany also faces al­le­ga­tions of in­ter­nal sex­ual ha­rass­ment and of spy­ing on work­ers. Sch­nat­ter de­nies the al­le­ga­tions against him; Papa John’s has hired a third party to con­duct a cul­tural au­dit.

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