When Steve Ritchie was promoted to the Chief Executive Officer position at Papa John’s International Inc. in January of 2018, he had the noble goal of making diversity, equity, and inclusion at the pizza chain the company’s defining values. In accord with this goal, Steve Ritchie has provided all of Papa John’s management team members with mandatory “unconscious bias training” and has plans to implement said training program nationally. In addition, the CEO has ordered an independent audit of the company’s culture, diversity and inclusion practices, which is currently underway, with constructive recommendations to follow. Moreover, CEO Steve Ritchie and many members of Papa John’s senior management team recently went on a listening tour to various cities across the country to obtain feedback from their franchisees and team members as to how the company can improve on its efforts to become a more diverse, equitable, and inclusive company. Steve Richie also intends to obtain professional advice as to how the company can improve on its efforts to become a more diverse, equitable, and inclusive company by assembling an advisory group to guide the company.
Steve Richie has also sign off on a franchise expansion and development program that will provide women and minorities with aid in their pursuit of a Papa John’s franchise. The CEO also announced that a new foundation will be established to effect a positive impact on society as a whole by furnishing support to organizations, whose purpose is to do away with the destructive biases that have the effect of dividing us and to support and foster those that have the effect of bringing us together. Steve Richie has also promoted Victoria Russell to a newly created position at Papa John’s, Chief of Diversity and Inclusion, fulfilling his promise to increase the number of management positions held by women and minorities.
Steve Richie started out with Papa John’s as an hourly customer service rep in 1996 before being promoted to various positions, such as delivery driver, general manager, and director of operations. In 2014, he was promoted to the position of Chief Operating Officer, and in 2015, was named President of the pizza chain, which made possible his ultimate promotion to the Chief Executive Officer role.