Steve Ritchie (businessman)

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Steve Ritchie
Alma materSeneca High School MCA[1]

Steve Ritchie is a businessman who was the CEO of Papa John's.[2] He worked at Papa John's for over 23 years, [3] holding multiple positions in the company's leadership throughout that time after starting to work for the company as an hourly worker.[4][5]


Ritchie was promoted to the COO position at Papa John's in May 2014.[6] He has been the company's president since July 2015.[5]

Ritchie became the CEO of Papa John's after the company's founder, John Schnatter, stepped down as CEO at the end of 2017.[7]

Ritchie has promised to change the culture of Papa John's by bringing in outside experts to audit current diversity policies and requiring workers to undergo bias and diversity training.[8][9][10] He has been praised for taking the right steps to deal with the company's controversy over Schnatter.[11] However, Schnatter has expressed concerns that Ritchie is not the right executive for Papa John's.[12]

Ritchie joined the board of directors at Papa John's after a $200 million investment in the company from Starboard Value.[13] He said that the investment would be used towards changing the culture of the company and product innovation.[14]


  1. ^ "Papa John's embattled CEO Steve Ritchie braces for fight: 'Pizza is my life'". The Courier-Journal.
  2. ^ "'Papa John's is not an individual,'Former CEO says, as it plans an audit of its diversity policies". CNBC. Retrieved 18 April 2019.
  3. ^ "Papa John's CEO steps down weeks after blaming NFL for poor sales". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 18 April 2019.
  4. ^ Fickenscher, Lisa (6 August 2018). "Papa John and hand-picked successor have history of bad blood". New York Post.
  5. ^ a b "Papa John's Intl Inc (PZZA:NASDAQ)". Bloomberg.
  6. ^ "Papa John's promotes Steve Ritchie to COO". Nation's Restaurant News. 15 May 2014.
  7. ^ "Papa John's founder will step down as CEO after criticizing national anthem protests in the NFL". The Washington Post.
  8. ^ "Papa John's CEO Attempts Damage Control But Not An Apology". HuffPost. Retrieved 18 April 2019.
  9. ^ "Papa John's orders workers to undergo bias and diversity training". USA Today.
  10. ^ Galarza, Daniela (24 August 2018). "Papa John's to Teach Employees How Not to Act Like Papa John". Eater.
  11. ^ Mautz, Scott (16 July 2018). "Papa John's CEO Just Apologized to Customers. Here's Why His Reaction Shows Emotional Intelligence".
  12. ^ "Papa John's founder says successor not right fit for CEO". Reuters. Retrieved 18 April 2019.
  13. ^ "After Failing To Secure Buyout, Papa John's Announces $200 Million Deal With Former Olive Garden Investor". Forbes.
  14. ^ "Papa John's, Starboard 'Focused' as Circus Quiets - Franchise Times News - February 2019".