It's unfortunate he was given enough responsibility within the company — after all that's happened — that it came to this. We've felt Schnatter had to go for a long time.
— Kristen Hawley
The independent directors of the company accepted the resignation of Schnatter, the company said in a statement late Wednesday. Olivia Kirtley will act as the company’s lead independent director, while Papa John’s will appoint a new chairman in the coming weeks, the statement said.
Just seven months after exiting the CEO role after making critical comments about the NFL’s national-anthem dispute, Schnatter came under fire following a media report that he used a racial slur and graphic descriptions of violence against minorities on a May conference call with a media agency.
Schnatter admitted to using an offensive racial term during the call and apologized, according to a separate statement earlier Wednesday.
“News reports attributing the use of inappropriate and hurtful language to me during a media training session regarding race are true,” Schnatter said in the statement. “Regardless of the context, I apologize. Simply stated, racism has no place in our society.”
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