The CEO of Papa John’s, Steve Ritchie, has come forward to apologize to their customers. The reason for the apology is due to some bad press over a recent comment made by John Schnatter. The founder of the company had stated that the NFL’s inability to resolve their issues regarding the national anthem has impacted their sales negatively. It wasn’t long after this that the NFL chose to drop the popular pizza chain as their official pizza.
Another challenge came forth regarding Schnatter on a conference call, then spurring more challenges, with Major League Baseball proclaiming that they were now also dropping the pizza chain. The two major actions included the founder’s photo being removed from the pizza boxes as well as the marketing materials. Additionally, a stadium in Louisville featured his name, and that will also be removed. This called for a prompt action from Steve Ritchie, the company has now made a dramatic public apology to their customer base.
The CEO commented that the week this happened was by far the hardest in his 22 years with the company. He also chose to recognize that the comments made by Schnatter were inappropriate at best, and not something that the company would stand behind. According to Wikipedia, His forthright statement, “I’m sorry,” was by far one of the most simple yet profound statements he could have made. Why? It is a statement that will appeal to people far and wide. Something that most folks can identify with.
About halfway through his statement, Steve Ritchie specifically mentions the actions he will be taking. Perhaps one of the most important actions was the willingness to hire outside help to audit the company culture. This was an emotionally intelligent choice as well, mainly because Steve Ritchie Papa Johns was willing to look to the outside for help. Additionally, the move to listen to what employees are saying, and how they feel about things is also of high value to the CEO.
Last but not least, his willingness to be transparent and remain in this state is highly valued by any human being. The customers truly matter to him.
Important reading: https://ir.papajohns.com/