Papa John's CEO Rob Lynch Steps Down

Papa John's International, Inc. (NASDAQ: PZZA) has announced a significant leadership change with the departure of president and CEO Rob Lynch. Ravi Thanawala, the current Chief Financial Officer, has been appointed as the interim CEO as the board of directors conducts a comprehensive search for Lynch's successor.

Despite the leadership transition, the company has reaffirmed its fiscal 2024 adjusted operating income outlook, aiming for a range between $153 million and $163 million. This reaffirmation comes in the wake of the company's earlier announcement of its "Back to Better 2.0" growth strategy and international transformation initiatives. These initiatives include increased marketing investments, new franchisee incentives to expedite North America's development, and optimizations to enhance the brand’s international presence.

In terms of development outlook, Papa John's expects net unit growth for North America to increase by over 20% compared to 2023 net unit openings. Additionally, the company anticipates opening between 100 and 140 new international restaurants.

Ravi Thanawala, who assumed the role of interim CEO, has an impressive background, having served as the Chief Financial Officer of Nike North America, Nike Inc.'s largest division, and in various finance and operations roles at Ann Inc.

Papa John's, which operates over 5,900 restaurants in 50 countries and territories, remains committed to its original goal of delivering "better ingredients, better pizza." The company emphasizes its use of high-quality ingredients, including a dough made of only six ingredients and fresh, never frozen, original pizza sauce.

This transition in leadership comes at a critical time for Papa John's, as it seeks to continue its growth trajectory and execute its long-term strategy in delivering value to stakeholders. Today the company's shares have moved -4.8% to a price of $68.32. For the full picture, make sure to review Papa John's International's 8-K report.

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