John Schnatter

NFL fans have seen the last of Papa John’s Pizza founder John Schnatter, who announced he is stepping down as the company CEO.

Schnatter sparked controversy in November when he pulled Papa John’s NFL commercials amid the ongoing NFL player protests.

In a statement announcing his decision last month, Schnatter said the protests were hurting his brand.

“Leadership starts at the top, and this is an example of poor leadership,” he said, referring to the league’s refusal to stop the players from protesting.

On Thursday, the company said its current president, Steve Ritchie, would replace Schnatter.

Schnatter owns 25% of Papa John’s and plans to step down as CEO in January 2018.

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