Papa John's Is Surging After Founder John Schnatter Resigns From Board And Apologizes For Using A Racial Slur (PZZA)

john schnatter papa john'sJason Merrit/Getty


Shares of Papa John's surged more than 10% Thursday morning following the >resignation of founder and executive chairman John Schnatter, who on Wednesday >apologized for using a racial slur on a May conference call with company executives and an outside marketing agency.

"News reports attributing the use of inappropriate and hurtful language to me during a media training session regarding race are true," Schnatter said in a statement to Business Insider, >alluding to Forbes' first reporting of the incident. "Regardless of the context, I apologize. Simply stated, racism has no place in our society."

The Louisville, Kentucky-based pizza chain >said in a press release that it would announce a new chairman in the coming weeks.

"Our company was built on a foundation of mutual respect and acceptance," the company's apology said. "We take great pride in the diversity of the Papa John's family, though diversity and inclusion is an area where we will continue to strive to do better."

Papa John's once generated annual revenue of more than $1.7 billion, but took a hit following the NFL controversy. Its stock plummeted 11% soon after an earnings call that addressed the scandal, according to Forbes. Schnatter resigned as CEO in January but remained on the board.

Papa John's announced in late December that Schnatter would be stepping down as CEO and would be replaced by Steve Ritchie. However, Schnatter remained the chairman of the company's board.