ATLANTA (AP) — Pizza purveyor Papa John’s announced plans Thursday to move its global headquarters from Louisville, Kentucky to a yet-to-be-determined location in metro Atlanta, bringing 200 jobs along with it.
The pizza delivery company said in a news release that the new headquarters and associated organizational changes are expected to be complete by next summer.
The move comes as Papa John’s charts a new strategic course after fallout with its founder, John Schnatter, and as its stock price rises amid growing demand during the coronavirus pandemic.
Schnatter, who founded the company in 1984, stepped down as CEO in late 2017 after he faced criticism for blaming disappointing sales on NFL player protests and used a racial slur during a company conference call.
“Metro Atlanta’s deep talent pool and its world-class airport connecting us to the domestic and international markets that are key to our brand’s future will accelerate our long-term growth,” president and CEO Rob Lynch said in a statement.
Lynch, who was named CEO of Papa John’s last year, was previously president of Arby’s, which is also headquartered in Atlanta.
Papa John's new metro-Atlanta headquarters will house departments including menu innovation, marketing, human resources, communications and development, while IT, supply chain and legal teams will stay in Louisville, the news release says. The company is looking at multiple potential locations for the new headquarters around Atlanta and expects to select a site by the end of 2020.
The company has more than 5,300 locations worldwide.
“It’s a pleasure to welcome Papa John’s to the strong list of internationally known U.S. companies that have chosen the Peach State for their global headquarters,” Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp said in a statement.