As John Schnatter steps away from Papa John's, here's the workplace culture he leaves behind

5 days ago by Joshua Fruhlinger in Features, Trends

Now that John Schnatter, founder and face of Papa John's Pizza ($NASDAQ:PZZA) has stepped down after another negative PR storm stemming from his use of racist terms during a conference call, it's useul to now look at the company culture he leaves behind. We do this by looking at data we track via Glassdoor empoyee review data over time.

Back in February, we reported on the damage that founder John Schnatter was doing to the pizza stalwart. That came after Schnatter blamed the NFL #TakeTheKnee controversy for weak company financial performance, making it clear that he was siding with Donald Trump on the issue. He then cut ties with the NFL, blaming it for not forcing players to take part in the national anthem.

Papa John's weathered that storm somehow, but the latest fumble has resulted in Schnatter's departure.

Overall company ratings by employees remain somewhat flat, but mediocre, settling at 3.1 out of 5 as of publishing. When looking at the raw ratings mix data, however, we can see a slight uptick in 1-out-of-5 ratings as of late, indicating that employees have grown unhappy with their company.

In January 2018, Schnatter stepped away from CEO duties for Papa John's, making way for Steve M. Ritchie who had previously served as a Senior Vice President at the company. Any time a new CEO steps in, Glassdoor resets his or her reviews. However, Ritchie's ratings quickly sunk to a poor 39% before creeping up to 53% where it sits today. For reference, Glassdoor tell us that a CEO rating of 65% is considered average.

Glassdoor's "Business Outlook" rating is interesting here. It asks employees to answer, "Do you believe your company's business outlook will get better, stay the same, or get worse in the next six months?" Now that we've had six months since Schnatter's ouster as CEO and now ouster overall, it's easy to see that employees have not been optimisitc about Papa John's future. It will be interesting to see if this number trends up with Schnatter's departure.

If this year's controversies have to do with anything, they are certainly linked to Schnatter's opinions and actions related to race. As the face of Papa John's (he's even on Papa John's pizza boxes), he was representing the company's values. As seen above, employees have rated the company's Culture & Values poorly since the new year.

Schnatter also resigned from the University of Louisville Board of Trustees after calls for him to do so by the NAACP.

Joshua Fruhlinger

Joshua has been writing about technology, lifestyle, and business for over 20 years. He's one of the original writers and editors for Engadget, and still writes a...

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