Papa John's names law firm to oversee investigation, audit
Papa John's International, Inc. said this morning that a special committee consisting of all independent directors of the board has appointed the international law firm of Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld Llp. to oversee an audit and investigation of the company, a news release said. As previously announced, the audit and investigation will examine all of the existing processes, policies and systems related to diversity and inclusion, supplier and vendor engagement and Papa John's culture.
The Akin Gump team, led by partners Douglass Maynard and Estela Diaz, will retain and manage additional experts and consultants in this process.
"We're focused on creating the right future for Papa John's," special committee member and Lead Independent Board Director Olivia Kirtley, said in the release. "The special committee of the board is committed to this thorough audit and investigation, and to taking deliberate actions to rebuild trust at Papa John's and to ensure that this company is driven by the values of diversity, equity, inclusion and respect."
The members of the special committee are all outside directors who serve on Papa John's board, and no current or former employees of Papa John's — including those who are on the company's board itself — will serve on the special committee. All of these actions follow the events of the last two weeks involving the company's founder John Schnatter and alleged racial slurs made on a media training call last May.