Papa John’s founder resigns after using racial slur in PR meeting [Updated]

John Schnatter has become the face of the pizza chain, but he resigned as chairman of the board following reports that he used a racist term in an exercise meant to avoid future crises.

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Bad executive behavior can leave PR pros shaking their heads and scrambling to fix brand damage.

Papa John’s founder John Schnatter resigned as the pizza chain’s chief executive in December amid backlash following his criticism that National Football League players’ protests were hurting sales.

The chain’s stock prices took a hit after the incident, and Papa John’s communications team has been working to repair the damage. However, Schnatter delivered a fresh PR crisis when reports surfaced that he had used a racial slur during a conference call.

In an ironic twist, he used the word during a meeting with Papa John’s PR agency aimed at helping Schnatter avoid future reputational disasters.

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