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Tuesday 20th March 2018

Papa John's Recruits NBA Star Amid Scandal

Media & Culture

7Dnews London

Fri, 22 Mar 2019 23:44 GMT

The American pizzas chain Papa John's, in trouble since its president John Schnatter resigned for racist remarks. On Friday, the company named former NBA star Shaquille O'Neal a member of its board of directors.

Shaquille "Shaq" O'Neal, who will also take about 30% of the chain's nine restaurants in Atlanta, will be "a brand ambassador," said Papa John's general manager Steve Ritchie on CNBC channel.

He expressed hope that the arrival of the three-time NBA champion to Papa John's management would help "revitalise" the chain whose sales have fallen since the last summer.

"They asked me to be the first African-American on the board and I thought it was great," confirmed the popular Shaquille "Shaq" O'Neal, followed by 14.7 million Twitter followers. also invited by CNBC.

"We now want to create a culture where everyone feels loved, welcome and accepted."

Following the chain's difficulties, an investment fund, Starboard Value, took control of Papa John's in early February. Five new people have since joined the board, and Starboard Chairman Jeffrey Smith is now Executive Chairman.

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