Men Dominate Papa John's Management

Papa John’s International Inc. (NASDAQ: PZZA) plans to examine the company’s “existing processes, policies and systems related to diversity and inclusion.” It can start with its senior management, which has one woman out of a group of five.

Caroline Miller Oyler is Papa John’s chief legal officer. The company’s other top executives include CEO Steve Ritchie; Michael R. Nettles, who is chief information and digital officer; Timothy C. O’Hern, who is president, international, senior vice president and chief development officer; and Joseph H. Smith, who is senior vice president and chief financial officer. This means that both founder John Schnatter and Ritchie have not done much of a job of promoting women to the most senior levels of management. Perhaps the diversity work about to start will resolve that.

Papa John’s joins a long line of major companies in which management is dominated by men. However, Papa John’s is different, at least as of now. It has a plan to examine the problem. Whether that means the issues get resolved is another question.

Outsiders could observe that today Papa John’s has much bigger problems than diversity as it tries to rebrand and distance itself from Schnatter. Its plans to examine diversity may have to take a back seat temporarily. The company’s plans are fuzzy. However, if management wants new credibility, it can’t wait too long.

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