In an ironic turn of events, the Papa John’s brand will be receiving help from former Uber chief brand ambassador Bozoma Saint John, who happens to be a black woman.
Papa John’s has been suffering poor sales for quite some time, but it found itself in even deeper hot water following the resignation of founder John Schnatter, who was exposed for having used the N-word during a conference call.
Where Schnatter initially went wrong is in 2016 when he blamed the company’s declining sales on the NFL players who kneel during the national anthem and the subsequent controversy the peaceful protest sparked.
“The NFL has hurt us by not resolving the current debacle to the players’ and owners’ satisfaction,” Schnatter, who was the pizza chain’s chairman and chief executive officer at the time, said on a different conference call. “NFL leadership has hurt Papa John’s shareholders.”
While Schnatter’s comments about the protest somewhat blew over, the company's sales remained in a slump. Then, things took an even worse turn in July when the recording surfaced of Schnatter using the racial slur.
Saint John has moved on from Uber and is now the chief marketing officer for Endeavor Global Marketing. Papa John’s is seeking the agency’s help to rebuild its damaged brand, according to Blavity.
Interestingly enough, this marks the second time that Saint John will have to clean up a corporate mess created by an entitled white man.
At Uber, it was former CEO Travis Kalanick who was dragging the company down with scandal after scandal, particularly related to racism and sexism. Saint John came in and revamped the rideshare company’s brand by boosting morale and customer retention.
Apparently, Papa John's is hoping that she can work the same miracle for their company.
If major companies made diversity among their executive teams a priority in the first place, they could prevent many of these egregious mistakes from happening. But it seems they would rather wait until their companies are failing before realizing that women and minorities have valuable voices that deserve to be heard.
Banner/Thumbnail Photo Credit: REUTERS/Rick Wilking