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Papa John’s Names McDonald’s Veteran Norberg as Head of Restaurant Operations

1:05 PM, Jul 8, 2019 — Papa John’s International (PZZA) named Jim Norberg as its chief restaurant operations officer to oversee corporate and franchised locations in North America as the pizza chain looks to drive sales growth and profit margins, the company said on Monday.

Norberg comes to the Louisville, Ky.-based Papa John’s after spending more than 30 years at McDonald’s (MCD), where he was most recently executive vice president and chief operating officer where he led operations for 14,000 US locations of the Big Mac maker.

“Jim has an impressive growth track record, as well as deep-rooted (quick-service restaurant) industry knowledge and expertise, making him a welcome addition to our talented leadership team,” said Chief Executive Steve Ritchie.

Papa John’s has faced a series of challenges in recent years, including a battle with founder and former chairman John Schnatter who left the company amid controversy over comments he reportedly made about protests in the National Football League.

Basketball hall-of-famer Shaquille O’Neal was added to Papa John’s board earlier this year as part of the company’s bid to revamp its image, saying he will serve as an ambassador for the company and invest in nine restaurants around Atlanta.

Shares in Papa John’s were down 1.8% in afternoon trading on Monday.

Norberg will be tasked with improving efficiencies at the pizza chain and delivering “sustainable year-over-year increases in sales, customer satisfaction and profit margins the for brand across both its corporate and franchise restaurants,” according to the company’s statement.

“This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and I look forward to helping move the brand forward,” Norberg said. At McDonald’s, he led a system-wide review to simplify operations in the stores and menus, the company said. After his career at McDonald’s, Norberg was an independent strategic advisor to companies operating in restaurant, hospitality, entertainment and the consumer goods industry.

Companies: Papa John’s International, Inc.
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