Papa John's International Inc. has promoted Steve Ritchie to the position of chief operating officer and said company founder John Schnatter will assume the additional role of president.

Both positions at the Louisville, Ky.-based pizza company had been held by Anthony N. “Tony” Thompson, who will become the president and chief executive of Winston-Salem, N.C.-based Krispy Kreme Doughnuts Inc. on June 1.

Ritchie will oversee all aspects of Papa John’s global operations support and training in more than 4,400 restaurants in 35 nations. He joined Papa John’s in 1996 and most recently served as senior vice president for global operations.


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“Steve is an outstanding operator with a track record of success, and a tremendous asset to our entire system,” Schnatter, who will continue to serve as chairman and chief executive, said in a statement. “Steve and I are passionate about the Papa John's brand and will work with our global franchise and corporate operators and the rest of this outstanding management team to continue to grow the brand and our quality position around the world.”

In addition to serving in various executive roles, Ritchie has also owned and operated Papa John’s franchised units in the brand’s Midwest division since 2006.

Along with these leadership changes, the company said Lance Tucker, chief financial officer, will now oversee Papa John’s information systems functions, including the company’s online ordering platform, and human resources.

Schnatter created the Papa John's concept in 1984. The company said he will continue to lead the company’s management team and focus on marketing.

Contact Ron Ruggless at ronald.ruggless@penton.com.
Follow him on Twitter: @RonRuggless