Industry News | April 29, 2010

Move Over, Papa: Time for a Co-CEO

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Papa John's International Inc. announced the promotion of company president and chief operating officer Jude Thompson to co-CEO, along with founder and chairman John Schnatter.

“I am delighted that Jude and I will continue our work together, now as co-chief executive officers,” Schnatter says. “This appointment recognizes the partnership we have developed since I rejoined the day-to-day management of the company in December 2008, and allows us to divide CEO-level responsibilities in a way that our board agrees plays to our respective strengths.”

Schnatter will continue to focus on the company’s sourcing of ingredients, distribution, product quality, and serving as brand spokesperson, while Thompson will be responsible for all other aspects of the day-to-day running of the business.

“John is the face of this brand and is passionate about delivering a superior-quality product to our customers,” Thompson says. “I am excited about continuing to work alongside John, as well as with our franchise and corporate operators and management team, to continue to move our brand forward.”

Schnatter created the Papa John's concept and has served as chairman and CEO, or in other executive capacities, since his founding of the company in 1984.

Thompson joined the Papa John’s board of directors in 2008 and was appointed Papa John’s president and chief operating officer in April 2009. From 2006 to 2008, he served as senior vice president of WellPoint Inc., and president of Individual Business for Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield.