Papa John’s CEO Rob Lynch Gives the Company New Life

Papa John's CEO Rob Lynch Gives the Company New Life

Papa John’s is a company proving second chances exists. After roiling from the fallout of the brand’s founder, John Schnatter, the company is returning to normalcy and hopeful expansion with Rob Lynch as Papa John’s CEO. Papa John’s new CEO is no stranger to challenges and has a history of turning around companies. With Rob Lynch at the helm, Papa John’s future looks bright, even amid the current health crisis. 

What Papa John’s New CEO Plans for the Future

In the early months of his new role, the Papa Johns CEO needed to focus on a rising challenge in the East. The world was beginning to see the rise of Covid-19, and businesses were getting a rude awakening to future struggles. 

Despite the business closures overseas due to quarantines and government mandates, Lynch and the brand saw positive returns as the company took steps to accept and rise above its history. With changes to the board and new celebrity faces charging the marketing path forward, the new CEO saw the opportunity to push further and harder than before.

When the pandemic reached the U.S., the company already had a plan of action. It was experienced with the challenges of the virus because of the closures and changes in other markets. Switching to a digital and mobile ordering focus meant the company could and did experience growth throughout the pandemic. In fact, the brand added more than 3 million new customers in the early months of the pandemic.

As the brand begins focusing on post-pandemic life, the fresh CEO plans to continue the positive relationship with Shaquille O’Neil and continue the focus on digital platforms and customer interaction. The company is well aware of its history and the hurdles it still presents, despite positive growth over the last few years.

How Papa John’s New CEO Plans to Battle Branding Challenges 

The branding challenges after the pizza chain’s founder were not the least of its problems, but as Lynch took center stage, he took the reigns of a multipronged effort to restore the bruised and injured brand. The new strategy would include corporate culture repairs, refocus on brand positioning by highlighting better ingredients, boosting unit economics, growing the store base, and using technology effectively.

Much of the company’s problem rested in its ability to re-establish trust in the market. After the controversy of the brand’s founder, market share was down, and it appeared the public wasn’t interested in a comeback story. Fortunately, by ousting the original Papa, shaking up the board, and bringing in a new CEO, the brand could find a unique, authentic voice.

Rob Lynch is proving to be one of the best decisions Papa John’s has made since the original fallout. The new, young, and vibrant CEO is a personable face, perfect for renewing trust and hope in a once-loved brand. While the creative and persistent CEO has managed the pizza chain tremendously well through the current and past crises, only time will tell if the brand is genuinely ready for post-pandemic life and society.


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