July 8, 2019 / 1:43 PM / 12 days ago

Papa John's hires McDonald's veteran as head of restaurant operations

FILE PHOTO: The Papa John's store in Westminster, Colorado, U.S. August 1, 2017. REUTERS/Rick Wilking

(Reuters) - Papa John’s International Inc (PZZA.O) said on Monday it has appointed a McDonald’s Corp (MCD.N) veteran to the newly created role of chief of restaurants operations, as the pizza chain remodels itself after the departure of its scandal-hit founder.

Jim Norberg, who has spent more than 30 years at McDonald’s, will be responsible for growing sales and profit margins as well as improving customer satisfaction at Papa John’s, the company said.

Papa John’s earlier this year named its first chief people officer after founder John Schnatter, who reportedly used a racial slur during a media training conference call last year, exited following a long and acrimonious battle.

The negative publicity, which dented the pizza chain’s sales last year, led the company to name former basketball star Shaquille O’Neal as a board member, brand ambassador and investor.

“Jim is a seasoned expert whose depth and understanding of restaurant operations and the guest experience will help propel our brand forward and position us for continued success,” Papa John’s Chief Executive Officer Steve Ritchie said in a statement.

At McDonald’s, Norberg most recently served as chief operating officer and managed operations for U.S. restaurants while leading a system-wide review to simplify store operations and menus.

Reporting by Nivedita Balu in Bengaluru; Editing by Arun Koyyur

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