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International operations chief departs Papa Johns

Papa Johns International COO Amanda Clark is leaving the company.

The COO of Papa Johns' international division is leaving the company for a chief executive opportunity as it prepares to enter a major new market.

Amanda Clark, COO for international, will depart Papa Johns on March 1, 2024 to assume the role of CEO at another company in the franchise industry. Clark joined Papa Johns in February 2020 as its chief development officer. 

Her responsibilities expanded to include leading the Papa Johns international business in May 2022 and was appointed COO, International in September 2023. Under her leadership, Papa Johns, which is slated to begin opening stores in India this year (see more below), delivered more than 700 net new units and signed the two largest development deals in company history.

“We have created a culture at Papa Johns where we cultivate top talent and help them achieve their full potential. We wish Amanda much success in her new role,” said Papa Johns president and CEO Rob Lynch. “We have a strong international leadership team in place and talent within that organization who will continue to deliver on our business priorities while we conduct a comprehensive search that will evaluate both internal and external candidates for the next international leader. The team is focused on executing the international transformation initiatives we recently announced as part of our Back to Better 2.0 plan, including establishing our international regional business hubs, accelerating consumer-facing technology enhancements and optimizing the U.K. market for long-term profitability and strength.”

Clark’s exit is the second major shakeup in the C-suite of Papa John’s international division in the past six months. In July 2023, Ravi Thanawala, who previously served as CFO of Nike North America, joined Papa John’s International as CFO. Chris Collins, who had served as the interim principal financial and accounting officer and finance team leader for the international branch since March 2023, resumed his role as VP of tax and treasury.

Papa Johns plans big expansion in India

In July 2023, Papa Johns International entered an expanded partnership with PJP Investments Group — one of the company’s longest-tenured international franchisee partners — to open 650 restaurants in India by 2033.

The first of the new restaurants is scheduled to open in 2024 in Bangalore, followed by openings in other cities in South India and then across other regions of the country. India is an attractive market for Papa Johns, given the country’s significant size, as well as the burgeoning income and rising aspirations of its middle class, the company previously noted.

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