Papa Johns, the once-beloved American pizza giant has been suffering strained public relations in recent years, but it seems that with their new, forward thinking CEO Steve Ritchies, they may have the cure to their ills.
A simple ‘I’m sorry’ rarely means much on its own, and the most important thing is demonstrating a desire and intent to correct past wrongs, and to ensure that they stay in the past. Steve Ritchies has done this and more in his first act as CEO, a very prudent move to apologize for past mistakes and lay out his intent to better the company moving forward.
He took a very intelligent approach to his apology, putting himself in the same boat as spurned customers and speaking of how he was personally hurt by the discord caused between the company and them while also separating himself from the cause. ‘The new leadership is different, more reasonable, understanding and responsible from the old’, as it’s implied.
He deftly avoids blame without discrediting the complaints and offense suffered by the public, and then goes on to plainly acknowledge that action is necessary and that words aren’t enough on their own. He puts forward a three point plan for improvement, and promises to lead personally.
The first point is the introduction of experts from outside the company to evaluate their company culture, to promote inclusion and diversity, to identify what the company does well and what it does poorly and to use these lessons to adjust their company culture in the process.
The second is to take senior management to the ground level, to speak to the little people, employees, customers, managers who give life to Papa Johns, and it’s finished off with a promise of transparency and a desire for the customers of Papa Johns to hold them accountable. As a final note, it was sent directly to customers, making it markedly more personal. In all, Steve Ritchies has given a good lesson in leadership, and displayed a simple understanding of people and the human element that a CEO might often lack.
Find out more about Steve Ritchie: https://twitter.com/stevemritchie?lang=en