LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - Louisville-based pizza giant Papa John’s announced plans to open a new global headquarters in Atlanta.
Papa John’s alerted media via a news release Thursday that its menu innovation, marketing, customer experience, human resources, diversity, equity and inclusion, development, and communications offices will move to Atlanta.
Remaining in Louisville, where John Schnatter founded his pizza empire in 1984, will be the chain’s IT, supply chain, and legal teams. After stepping down as CEO in 2018 for controversial remarks he had made about the NFL, Schnatter later resigned as chairman of the board when reports surfaced that he had used a racial slur on a sensitivity training call.
Papa John’s is still looking to nail down a specific location in Atlanta.
An article in Thursday’s Atlanta Journal-Constitution said 200 corporate jobs will be in Atlanta next year. Some of those will be newly-created jobs, while others will be those relocating from Louisville.
There are currently 750 people working on the corporate team in Louisville, the majority of whom will remain working locally.
The coronavirus pandemic has sparked increased deliveries and sales for many pizza restaurants and chains. Papa John’s stock price opened Thursday at $84.50, up more than double its price of $38.72 on March 17.
Robert Lynch, the President and CEO of Papa John’s, appeared on CNBC to discuss the decision Thursday.
“We also are building out new capabilities, like you mentioned, our product innovation is a big focus for us, and our technology platforms,” Lynch said. “Both through our ecommerce platforms, our loyalty platforms, our 1-to-1 marketing. So, we need even greater numbers of talented people to build these capabilities with us.”
“We have 2100 restaurants outside the U.S. and that’s going to be the source for our fastest growth- our net new restaurant numbers,” Lynch said. “So, we wanted to build a site and have a presence in a city where that would give us access to those markets.”
“We think that Atlanta really serves that opportunity for us and frankly we’re betting on the future,” he said. “This is an investment in our future and we’re really excited about it.”
Copyright 2020 WAVE 3 News. All rights reserved.