Leadership | Papa John's scandals spark first-ever CPO appointment

Papa John's scandals spark first-ever CPO appointment

Multi-national pizza delivery company Papa John’s has confirmed the appointment of their first ever Chief People Officer.

Martin Boakye will take up the reins. He has over 20 years of experience in the field of human resources and will be tasked with improving the standard of the company’s talent management strategy after reports surfaced about the questionable behaviours of company founder John Schnatter.

In July 2018, past CEO and Chairman of the Board Schnatter resigned from his post after a slew of front-page headlines informed the public about his use of racial slurs on corporate phone calls and controversial comments about the company’s supposed unprofitable links to the NFL.

Much speculation surrounded Schnatter’s departure, with many news sources claiming that the founder, who created the brand over three decades ago, was forcibly persuaded into departing after company stocks fell by over 10.5%. Projections for a campaign to repair the damage caused by Schnatter’s comments was expected to cost over $50million.

"Our future will not be defined by the words or actions of one person," commented Steve Ritchie, who took the position of CEO from Schnatter in 2017.

Boakye has an extensive history in change management and culture transformation, and has taken positions at petroleum company Andeavour and telecommunications company MTS Allstream.

Speaking on the appointment, Richie commented:

“Boakye’s expertise will help us to continue to push Papa John’s forward in our transformation to become a better place to work for our 120,000 corporate and franchise team members.”

He continued: “In our search for a Chief People Officer, our goal was to identify a proven talent development leader with expertise in driving organizational change. Boakye’s impressive background will be an important asset to Papa John’s growth strategy, especially as we continue to focus on our business outside of North America.”

Boakye will serve as part of the brand’s executive leadership team and will report to CEO Steve Ritchie.

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