Shaq named new spokesman for Papa John's

  • Shaq named new spokesman for Papa John's

Shaq named new spokesman for Papa John's

That's big news for a company that has seen its North American sales plummet after various scandals involving founder John Schnatter, whose racist conference call a year ago brought out reports of workplace sexual harassment and nepotism at various Papa John's locations.

Last year, the company dropped $5.8 million on changing its image, a process that included removing Schnatter's likeness from pizza boxes and other marketing, according to CNBC.

Papa John's founder John Schnatter stepped down as CEO in late 2017 after a recording of him using the N-word - during an earnings call in which he claimed NFL national anthem protests were killing pizza sales - was leaked to Forbes. He will also join the company's board of directors and invest in nine of its restaurants in the Atlanta area.

Reports say Papa John's has a new spokesman.

"This is a triple threat opportunity for me", O'Neal said in a release. O'Neal will also invest in nine Papa John's stores in Atlanta and become an ambassador for the brand in advertisements.

Papa John's shares were up almost 4 percent in morning trade.

A representative for Schnatter said the founder declined to comment on O'Neal's appointment to the board.

Papa John's will own about 70 per cent of the Atlanta joint venture, with O'Neal holding the rest. Schnatter resigned as CEO in late 2017 after drawing criticism for comments he made about National Football League leadership.

"Shaquille has an excellent entrepreneurial background, including as a restaurant franchise owner, and is a natural creative marketer", said the Papa John's board of directors' chairman Jeff Smith, per CNN. Starboard earlier this year unveiled an investment of up to $250 million in Papa John's.

Could Shaq make Papa John's a slam dunk again? Schnatter resigned from the company and also left his position on the board of directors as part of a settlement with Papa John's. After retiring from the sport, he continue to appear regularly promoting Gold Bond powder and the Carnival cruise line.