Papa John's International Inc.'s board put further distance between the pizza chain and its outspoken founder John Schnatter for using a racial slur, agreeing to review all ties to him, evict him from the headquarters, and remove him from all marketing materials.
A special committee of independent directors ordered the termination of a so-called founder's agreement that designated Schnatter as the brand's face and voice and is requesting he cease media appearances on behalf of the firm, the company said in a statement after a Sunday night board meeting. Though Schnatter resigned as chairman this month and no longer holds a formal management role, he remains on the board and still owns about 30 percent of the company's shares.
Schnatter came under pressure after a media report that he used a racial slur and graphic descriptions of violence against minorities in a conversation with the company's former media agency, Laundry Service. That was just months after he exited the chief executive officer job over critical comments about the National Football League's national-anthem controversy.