The Independent Board of Papa Johns Wednesday condemned the ousted chairman John Schnatter with the charge that he "promoted his self-interest at the expense of everyone else in an attempt to regain control. "

In a harsh statement, the board members said Schnatter was" hurt the company, had not helped it, "and he had" shown a perpetual pattern of ignoring board decisions. "Both when he was CEO and more recently as chairman.

The directors also flatly denied his allegations earlier this week that they asked him to run the company as executive chairman, and had decided CEO Steve Ritchie the y-note Schnatter praised in his book last year as a "model of What a leader should be. "

They also say that he acted out of defiance.

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"When the company decided to implement a new marketing plan in which John Schnatter was not represented, he began criticizing the management team and undermining the leadership of the new CEO." it says in the nationwide distributed opinion.

Schnatter's Los Angeles-based public relations firm, Sitrick and Company, did not respond immediately to a request for comment.

The board members say Schnatter has repeatedly violated policies:

  • Asked not to talk about the NFL controversy surrounding the national anthem, "he went straight against these instructions," he made unscripted comments Regarding the controversy Independent market research showed that a change in the speaker and advertising strategy was justified, Schnatter commissioned his own research and produced separate commercials, which he played himself. [19659019] After being instructed to meet with the CEO of another restaurant company, Schnatter did so without Ritchie. This may have been an allusion to talks that Schnatter reportedly had about a merger with Wendy.

Schnatter resigned as chairman last month after using the N word during a media training session in May. He later said he had not stopped and sued the company. Analysts say his criticism has driven down the stock price of Papa John, which has lost almost half of its value over the last 12 months. It closed at $ 46.54 a share on Wednesday.

The independent directors say that Schnatter has not responded to requests to meet until last week. At that time, his lawyer said he would do so only if the company canceled its annual operator conference, which brings together around 1,500 team members and franchisees from around the world.

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"John Schnatter's demand that he be canceled only a week in advance was inappropriate and does not support his alleged concern for the future success of franchisees "The directors said."

Throw a burp to Schnatter, they said, "We will defend the company against its actions and continue to do what's right for Papa Johns and our stakeholders . "

The Boards said they have" Rec. "The company hired two investment banking firms last week, experts said they could expect Schnatter to make an enemy bid.

Schnatter, the Papa Johns 1984 owns 31 percent of its shares, a stake worth about $ 400 million.

Andrew Wolfson: 502-582-7189; awolfson@courier-journal.com; Twitter: @adwolfson . Support strong local journalism by subscribing today: www.courier-journal.com/andreww.

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