Papa John’s Names Arby’s Head as C.E.O. to Turn Around Pizza Chain

Papa John’s Names Arby’s Head as C.E.O. to Turn Around Pizza Chain

He was the man behind “we have the meats.” Now he’s trading roast beef for pizza.

Rob Lynch, the president of Arby’s, is taking over as chief executive of Papa John’s as the pizza chain shakes up its top leadership for the second time in less than two years. Mr. Lynch, whose appointment is effective immediately, replaced Steve Ritchie, a longtime Papa John’s franchisee who has led the company for the last 18 months, the company said on Tuesday.

Papa John’s has been working to revive sales and improve its reputation after its former chairman and founder, John Schnatter, became embroiled in a series of racially charged scandals. Mr. Schnatter, who had been the brand’s public face, appearing in commercials, resigned as chairman of the company’s board last year after a report that he used a racial slur during a conference call.

He had also been chief executive of the company, but stepped down from that role in 2017 after he blamed the National Football League’s handling of player protests against racism and police brutality for a slump in Papa John’s sales. The company had a sponsorship deal with the league, which it later gave up.

Mr. Lynch’s appointment comes several months after Papa John’s appointed a new board chairman in February.

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