CEO Steve Ritchie Welcomes Shaquille O’Neal To The Papa John’s Family

Businessman Steve Ritchie has spent more than 23 years working for Papa John’s International, Inc. He joined this company not long after graduating from Seneca High School in Louisville, Kentucky. He started as an hourly worker at one of their locations and, after a couple of management positions, was hired at this pizza chain’s corporate headquarters.

He was named as the president of Papa John’s on July 30, 2015. On January 1, 2018, Steve Ritchie was named as the chief executive officer. He is also the director of Papa John’s international operations, a position he has held since February 4, 2019. He was compensated $5.65 million for these positions in 2018 with $3.7 million of this awarded as restricted stock.

Steve Ritchie recently negotiated with Starboard Value, a hedge fund, to have them invest in Papa John’s. This resulted in a $250 million cash infusion into this brand. The founder of Starboard Value, Jeffrey Smith, is now the chairman of the board. The money this deal brought in is being used to promote Papa John’s and to make improvements to its recipes. Starboard Value is the company that successfully turned around Olive Garden.

He also negotiated with NBA great Shaquille O’Neal. Steve Ritchie signed an endorsement deal with Shaq making him the new spokesman of this brand as well as its director. Shaq also bought nine Papa John’s locations in Atlanta, Georgia, in a joint venture partnership with the company itself.

Shaq is now endorsing Papa John’s on all of his social media accounts including Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook. Steve Ritchie said that he is looking to develop co-branded products with Shaq. This is thought to be new pizza recipes that will be advertised by Shaquille O’Neal. Steve Ritchie said that Shaq has a lot of experience in the food business that will be very helpful to his company. Read more about Steve Ritchie Papa John’s: https://www.courier-journal.com/story/money/companies/2019/07/23/papa-johns-focuses-diversity-year-after-schnatter-controversy/1797996001/

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