Shaq Joins Papa John’s Board of Directors
Shaquille O’Neal becomes the first African American to join Papa John’s Board of Directors
Shaq is in the building! Repeat, Shaq is in the building! He will be joining Papa John’s as the first African American on the Board of Directors, and will also be the new spokesperson for the company. Following his partnership with the Papa Johns, he will also invest in nine stores in Atlanta.
This isn’t O’Neal’s first rodeo in the food business. He also owns his own restaurant in Los Angeles, followed by ownership of a Krispy Kreme Doughnuts franchise in Atlanta, and Big Chicken in Las Vegas.
Papa John’s wants Shaq to help rebrand the company’s image since popularity of its business has declined from the backlash of John Schnatter’s controversial comments on national anthem protests by NFL players back in 2017 . Following the backlash, Schnatter stepped down from his position as the CEO. In the summer of 2018, Schnatter used a racial slur during a conference call. Shortly after, he resigned from his role as chairman.
In a CNBC interview, Shaq states, “I’m very happy about partnering up with Papa John’s, and I’m also very happy about helping these guys create a culture where everybody is loved, welcomed, and respected.”
Shaq shares his excitement and announcement in a twitter post:
Time for a pizza party! I’m excited to join @PapaJohns as a member of the Board of Directors and investor in 9 stores in #Atlanta. Excited to work with Papa John’s team members and customers – more here: https://t.co/PRXG7ORtFk pic.twitter.com/c5uj5BRuQ1— SHAQ (@SHAQ) March 22, 2019