John Schnatter is no stranger to controversy. The ex-CEO of Papa John’s stepped down as the pizza chain’s chief executive in 2017 following backlash from scathing comments he made about NFL players. He subsequently resigned in 2018 after admitting to using racist slurs during a company conference call.
Now, he’s back with a message.
“Look, I’ve had over 40 pizzas in the last 30 days, and it’s not the same pizza. It’s not the same product. It just doesn’t taste as good,” Schnatter said in an interview with WDRB News, “The way they’re making the pizzas, the way they’re putting the pizzas together – it’s just not fundamentally sound…”
However, it wasn’t just the pizza that Schnatter railed against. He also had plenty to say about Papa John’s new CEO Steve Ritchie, as well as board members Olivia Kirtley and Mark Shapiro, whom he said “should be in jail”.
“They stole the company, and now they’ve destroyed the company,” Schnatter said, adding that “The day of reckoning will come,” before chuckling under his breath and ending with a cryptic “Stay tuned.”
Schnatter reached a settlement with Papa John’s earlier this year and has since been selling off his stocks in the company. He founded the pizza restaurant chain in 1984. Currently, it has more than 5,000 locations in 45 countries.
For its part, Papa John’s has seen growth since Schnatter’s departure. The company’s stock increased over 48% this year, rising to $59.64 at the end of October. In fact, total revenue is up 4.8% to $403.7 million.