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LOUISVILLE, Ky.—For the first time in more than two years, Papa John's International has a marketing chief.
According to a news release, the pizza chain hired 30-year marketing and advertising veteran Gary L. Langstaff as its chief marketing officer.
Langstaff will oversee creative and brand marketing, field marketing and marketing strategic planning and analysis.
Investors greeted the news warmly, sending shares of Papa John's up nearly 10 percent during late-day trading. About an hour before the session's end, the stock hit a year-to-date high of $31.97, $2.77 above the prior day's close of $29.20. The stock had dropped to $21.85 on Feb. 26.
"Gary offers not only years of restaurant industry marketing experience, but also expertise in corporate and brand strategy development," John Schnatter, founder and CEO of Papa John's, said in the release.
For the past 13 years, Langstaff has served as a marketing consultant for telecom, cable and biotech companies. From 1989 to 1991, he was executive vice president of marketing and brand strategy for Burger King Corporation, where he led the introduction of the BK Broiler Chicken Sandwich and co-branding with Paul Newman Salad Dressings.
Prior to joining Burger King, Langstaff was executive vice president of marketing at Hardee's Food Systems from 1985-1988. There, he assisted in the addition of pre-packaged salads and soft-serve ice cream to the burger chain's menu.
Papa John's last designated marketing officer was Syl Sosnowski, the company's marketing vice president when he was dismissed in August 2001 (see related story Sosnowski dismissed from Papa John's). Mary Ann Palmer, then senior vice president and chief resource officer, added Sosnowski's duties to her own before leaving the company on Oct. 15, 2003 (see related story Palmer, Papa John's marketing SVP, resigns).
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