USA – America’s fourth largest take-out and pizza delivery restaurant chain, Papa John’s International has named Robert Lynch as president and chief executive officer.

Robert will succeed Steve Ritchie, who had led the company since January 2017. He joins Papa Johns from Arby’s Restaurant Group where he served as the president since August 2017.

Robert brings in more than 20 years of experience in the quick-service restaurant and consumer packaged goods industries having have worked in various positions.

He earlier spent four years as brand president and chief marketing officer at Arby’s, where he was responsible for creating the “We Have the Meats” campaign.

Before joining Arby’s he was vice-president of marketing at Taco Bell and was also an associate marketing director at Kraft Heinz Co. for five years and a brand manager at Procter and Gamble for seven years.

“I am humbled and excited by the opportunity to work with this outstanding team to help make Papa John’s the best pizza company in the world,” Mr. Lynch said.

“Papa John’s has the most loved pizza in the industry, incredibly dedicated team members and franchisees that have proven their resilience and commitment, and a long history of innovation that puts the company at the front of where the food service industry is going.

“I look forward to building on these strengths, working with Papa John’s team members, franchisees and business partners. I absolutely believe that Papa John’s best days are ahead.”

He holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Rochester and a master’s degree in business administration from the University of Rochester — William E. Simon Graduate School of Business Administration.

Jeffrey C. Smith, chairman of the board of directors at Papa John’s said: “I am thrilled to welcome Rob to Papa John’s at this pivotal moment in the company’s history.

“His proven record transforming organizations and realizing the growth potential of differentiated brands is ideally suited for Papa John’s as the company sets forth on its next chapter

“I would also like to thank Steve Ritchie for his steady leadership as CEO over the past year and a half. We are all grateful for his dedication and contribution to the company for more than 20 years and wish him success in the future.”