Papa John’s International Inc. has promoted Tony Thompson to president and chief operating officer.

Most recently, Thompson was executive vice president and chief operating officer for Papa John’s, as well as president of the Louisville, Ky.-based chain’s commissary and distribution subsidiary, PJ Food Service.

No executive had been serving in the role of president of Papa John’s previously.

Thompson will oversee the chain’s global operations and will continue to lead the PJ Food Service distribution. He also retains responsibility for development, information technology and marketing functions. He will continue to report directly to Papa John’s founder and chief executive John Schnatter.

“Tony has been a tremendous asset to the entire Papa John’s system,” Schnatter said in a statement. “I will continue to partner with him in his new role as we provide leadership to achieve our plans for international and domestic growth and continue to position the company for long-term success.”

The chain currently is without a chief marketing officer, following the departure of Andrew Varga, who left to become president of Papa John’s agency of record, Zimmerman Advertising.

Papa John’s operates or franchises more than 3,220 restaurants in North America and nearly 1,000 units in its 34-country international division.

Contact Mark Brandau at mark.brandau@penton.com.
Follow him on Twitter: @Mark_from_NRN