Papa John Turns Heads With Harsh Comments About His Former Company

Papa John is popping off again. Surely you remember John Schnatter, the CEO whose unwise (and some would say downright racist) words and actions got him booted out of the company that bears his own name. While he may have used an exit line something like "You won't have Papa to kick around any more!" (likely spiced up with a few profanities, as well), Schnatter hasn't exactly withdrawn into a quiet life of retirement. When last we heard from him back in the spring, he was showing off his millionaire's club toys in a completely ham- (or perhaps pepperoni) fisted effort to cheer up those of us who were struggling with real-life issues such as unemployment and the looming threat of a potentially deadly disease. After all, nothing cures quarantine cabin fever like the sight of a one percenter showing off his collection of Camaros or giant eagle clock.

After a few months of radio silence, Papa John is back in the news, this time spouting off about the company he used to head. Did he want to praise their heroic efforts for continuing to deliver pizza during a pandemic or perhaps give a shout-out to their unique products like pickle or pineapple topped pizzas? Of course he didn't. Instead, Schnatter took the opportunity to deliver a few more kicks to the struggling company (never acknowledging, of course, the role he may have played in dragging them down).

What Papa John had to say about his namesake chain

A few weeks ago, financial info site Seeking Alpha published an article called "Papa John's Should be Avoided" warning investors to stay away from this troubled pizza chain, and Papa John himself immediately responded to agree with their assessment. Of course, Schnatter basically characterized the chain as having gone straight to H-E-double-cheesesticks since his departure, saying "The company fundamentally changed how it measures quality since I departed." As proof, he cites "the subpar product I have detected personally over the past two years" (so he still eats there; good to know they've got at least one steady customer) and also "the unsolicited feedback I frequently get from the general public." Seriously? People out there are voluntarily serving as Papa John's pen pals/corporate spies? He backs up his argument with sales figures showing that Papa John's was more profitable before his abrupt departure, while unsurprisingly failing to acknowledge that this also coincided with his misdeeds being disclosed to the public.

There was one point, however, on which Papa did not agree with Seeking Alpha. "Regarding your characterization of me as 'arguably unstable,'" wrote Schnatter, "I must challenge your assessment." As would we — there's no "arguably" about it. What on earth could Schnatter possibly stand to gain from trashing the chain that will forever be associated with him? Unless, of course, he plans to launch some sort of competitor...