Louisville / KY. (pj) Papa John´s International Inc., the world´s third largest pizza company, announced the promotion of Steve Ritchie to the position of Chief Operating Officer. In addition, the Company´s Founder, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, John Schnatter, will assume the additional role of President of the Company, continuing to focus on all aspects of the Company´s business, while also acting as brand spokesperson. «Steve is an outstanding operator with a track record of success, and a tremendous asset to our entire system», said Schnatter. «Steve and I are passionate about the Papa John´s brand, and will work with our global franchise and corporate operators and the rest of this outstanding management team to continue to grow the brand and our quality position around the world». In his new role, Ritchie will lead all aspects of the Company´s global operations, support and training in over 4’400 restaurants in 35 countries. He will also lead the Company´s research and development, quality assurance, PJ Food Service and supply chain functions. As part of the leadership changes, Chief Financial Officer, Chief Administrative Officer + Treasurer, Lance Tucker, will assume leadership of the Company´s Information Systems functions, including its online ordering platform, and the Human Resources function. In their expanded roles, both Ritchie and Tucker will play key roles in the Company´s strategic planning process. Ritchie has served in various capacities of increasing responsibility since joining Papa John´s in 1996.