“Papa” John Schnatter Doesn’t Seem to Understand Capital’s Logic

Can capitalists not accept the consequences of their actions? A leader of a business or corporation can do something that negatively affects the company that can justify their removal? How many times has a capitalist been forced out for their actions, while refusing to acknowledge that? Is this a contradiction of capitalism they don’t see? John Schnatter is a good example.

It is now a matter of record that the founder and CEO of Papa John’s pizza has been forced out of the company. This all came about when it was revealed that he had used the N-word during a conference call with the marketing team. Any ideas, personal preferences, or context aside – that was a business call and it was unprofessional. (Schnatter maintains that he did nothing wrong.) His action was leaked to the public which caused an understandable outrage.

People began petitions and called on others to boycott the pizza chain as punishment for the use of the racial slur. Papa John’s has also removed Schnatter from its commercials and marketing materials and kicked him out of office space at its headquarters.

As a result, he was asked to as resign as chairman of the board, which he did. He will, however, remain on the board of directors as he owns 29% of Papa John’s (PZZA) stock.

But the story doesn’t end there. Schnatter is now suing the company because he feels there was a plot to remove him from his position of leadership. His lawyer explains:

“Either the purportedly independent directors acted without adequate information and breached their duty of care,” or they “planned this coup in advance,” the complaint claims. “Mr. Schnatter is entitled to determine whether his fellow directors have been grossly negligent or are acting in bad faith, or both.”

He wants to see the communications “among and between board members and lawyers”, to determine if there was a coup plotted against him.

It seems that Schnatter cannot accept that he has been removed due to his unethical actions that have hurt the company’s public image and stock price. The complete and total logic of capital would demand such action to be taken. The board members are wholly dedicated to preserving the value of the company and its profits. These take precedence over any real or perceived allegiance to Schnatter himself. Their loyalty is to the stockholders.

Schnatter believes that he IS Papa John’s Pizza, and thus should be treated as such. It seems that Schnatter cannot understand that he was removed for the good of the company’s profits. The business is not about him, but about the bottom line.

Capitalism isn’t fair, it’s not meant to be. Is it fair when Schnatter wants to refuse to pay the modestly increased minimum wage? Is it fair when he wants to refuse to pay for healthcare according to the law?

I guess removing him for harming the company is going too far.


Source: https://money.cnn.com/2018/07/26/news/companies/papa-johns-lawsuit-john-schnatter/index.html