USA – The American restaurant franchise company Papa John’s has promoted Joe Smith to the chief financial officer position effective immediately while Steve Coke, who has been serving as interim principal financial and accounting officer, will continue to serve as vice president, Investor Relations and Strategy.

Smith was senior vice president of global sales and development at the company, a position he has served since his appointment in 2016.

He started his career at Papa John’s in 2000 as senior director of corporate budgeting and finance, promoted to vice president of corporate finance in 2005 and in 2010, appointed to f vice president, Global Sales and Development.

He has 33 years of experience in finance, development and auditing, and is a Certified Public Accountant.

Smith started his career with Ernst & Young in 1985 and worked as corporate controller with United Catalysts between 1998 and 2000 before joining the pizza restaurant chain.

“Joe has had an integral role in the growth of Papa John’s during his 18 years with the company, including 10 years in finance and eight years in our Global Development departments,” said President and CEO Steve Ritchie.

“His knowledge and experience position him well to serve as our new CFO, particularly given the work underway to evaluate and invest in new opportunities for value creation.

I look forward to working with Joe in his new role.”

Smith is said to have demonstrated strong finance skills and integrity in his many years with Papa John’s through his extensive knowledge in finance and management of the company.

“I’m excited to be named Papa John’s CFO,” Smith said.

“I look forward to continuing to work closely with Steve Ritchie and our entire management team, John Schnatter and our board of directors and our franchise system.”