Papa John's founder leaves company after using racial slur
Papa John's Pizza's founderof the restaurant chain's board of directors following news that he used a racial slur in a conference call, but he still owns a substantial stake in the company.
Schnatter owns roughly 30 percent of Papa John's. As of March 12, his stake was worth $622 million, though a recent decline in the company's stock price now values it at $479 million as of the close of trading on Wednesday.
Other major stockholders include asset management firm BlackRock, with a 9 percent stake; hedge fund Eminence Capital (6.5 percent); and investment advsier Vanguard (6 percent).
Schnatter resigned as chairman on Wednesday amid a growing uproar about his comments. Papa John's shares, which fell nearly 5 percent on Wednesday, were up 12 percent on Thursday.
Schnatter acknowledged using a racial slur during a May conference call and apologized following a media report that also said the pizza chain founder had graphically described violence against minorities.
"News reports attributing the use of inappropriate and hurtful language to me during a media-training session regarding race are true," Schnatter said in a statement released Wednesday by the company.
"Regardless of the context, I apologize. Simply stated, racism has no place in our society," Schnatter's statement said.
The media-training company working with Papa John's opted to end its business relationship with the pizza company after the call, according to Forbes. The publication reported the objectionable behavior took place on a conference call intended as a role-playing exercise for Schnatter on avoiding racially charged mishaps in the future.
Papa John's initially declined to confirm or deny the report, but said in an emailed statement that the company "condemns racism and any insensitive language, no matter the situation or setting."
The controversy comes only seven months after Schnatterafter criticizing National Football League players for kneeling during the national anthem, blaming the outcry , at the and advertiser.
On the May call, Schnatter reportedly said the N-word while complaining that a legendary fast-food chain founder had used the word in the past without being subjected to public backlash. He also reflected on his childhood in Indiana, saying people used to drag African-Americans from trucks until they died, according to Forbes.
The Forbes report prompted protest from the Louisville NAACP, which said Schnatter should either step down or be removed from the University of Louisville's board of trustees by the city's NAACP.
Read more about this story on CBSNews.com.