Is there really a safe space when you're a CEO?

Thursday, July 12, 2018

Papa John’s founder John Schnatter probably thought he was in a “safe space” last May when he decried today’s political correctness.

He turned out to be wrong.

Schnatter was on a conference call to a marketing firm in a role-playing exercise to try to prevent further public relations fumbles like the ones he committed earlier while talking about National Football League national anthem protests.

“Colonel Sanders called blacks n-----s,” and never faced public backlash, Schnatter complained.

Unfortunately, his comments made it into a Forbes magazine article Wednesday, and, after Major League Baseball suspended its Papa Slam promotion, Schnatter apologized and resigned.

Papa John’s lost $96.2 million in market value Wednesday, while competitor Domino’s shares are up almost 50 percent for the year.

Celebrity CEOs like Schnatter, Jeff Bezos, Mark Zuckerberg and Elon Musk may enjoy the spotlight, but unless they want to damage their company’s bottom line, they should probably keep their mouths shut.

Respond to this story

Posting a comment requires free registration: