Papa John's to remove founder's image from marketing materials

  • Papa John's is reportedly removing John Schnatter's image from its marketing, according to The Associated Press.
  • The decision was made by top executives and the exact timing of his removal from these materials is still being decided, the report said.
A Papa John's pizza box is seen on July 11, 2018 in Miami, Florida. 
Joe Raedle | Getty Images
A Papa John's pizza box is seen on July 11, 2018 in Miami, Florida. 

Papa John's is taking another step to distance itself from its founder.

The pizza chain is removing John Schnatter's image from its marketing after racially charged comments he made became public Wednesday, a company spokesman confirmed to CNBC. The news was first reported by The Associated Press.

The decision was made by top executives and the exact timing of his removal from these materials is still being decided, the AP said, citing a source familiar with the matter. The source was not aware of any plans to change the pizza chain's name.

Schnatter's image is very closely tied to the company and he is pictured on its pizza boxes.

Schnatter, who stepped down from the post of CEO seven months ago, resigned as chairman earlier this week after admitting and apologizing for using the N-word during a May conference call. Schnatter, who owns a 24 percent stake in Papa John's, remains on the company's board.

The incident came to light after Forbes magazine detailed it in an article Wednesday. Schnatter later confirmed he was on a call with marketing agency Laundry Service when he tried to downplay comments he had made about the National Football League last fall. He said, “Colonel Sanders called blacks n-----s" and never faced any public backlash at KFC.

Papa John's shares were up more than 1 percent Friday.

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