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Log In / Register | Oct 16, 2017

Papa John’s Names Thompson Co-CEO

LOUISVILLE, KY.— Papa John's International, Inc. (NASDAQ: PZZA) yesterday announced the promotion of its president and chief operating officer Jude Thompson to co-chief executive officer, along with the company's founder and current chairman John Schnatter.

"I am delighted that Jude and I will continue our work together, now as co-Chief Executive Officers," commented Schnatter. "This appointment recognizes the partnership we have developed since I rejoined the day-to-day management of the company in December 2008, and allows us to divide CEO-level responsibilities in a way that our Board agrees plays to our respective strengths."

Mr. Thompson will lead the company, while Mr. Schnatter will continue to be seen as the brand spokesperson. The founder of the company will be responsible for improving product quality and distribution.

John is the face of this brand and is passionate about delivering a superior-quality product to our customers," commented Thompson. "I am excited about continuing to work alongside John, as well as with our franchise and corporate operators and management team, to continue to move our brand forward."

Mr. Schnatter created the Papa John's concept and has served as Chairman and CEO, or in other executive capacities, since his founding of the company in 1984.

Mr. Thompson joined the Papa John's Board of Directors in 2008 and was appointed Papa John's President and Chief Operating Officer in April 2009. From 2006 to 2008, he served as Senior Vice President of WellPoint, Inc., and President, Individual Business, of Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield.

Louisville, Kentucky-based Papa John's is the world's third largest pizza chain, with 3,063 franchised and 601 company-owned outlets. Its franchises have an estimated total investment fee of $250,000. In its quarterly and annual report in February, the company said that it opened 89 outlets during a challenging year and that same-store sales were even for the year.

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