Pizza chain Papa John's promotes Steve Ritchie to COO to replace Anthony Thompson

LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Papa John’s International Inc. said Thursday that it promoted executive Steve Ritchie to chief operating officer of the pizza chain.

He is replacing Anthony Thompson, 47, who resigned this week to take the CEO job at doughnut chain Krispy Kreme Doughnuts Inc.

Ritchie, 39, joined Papa John’s in 1996 and was most recently senior vice-president of the company.

Papa John’s also said that John Schnatter, the company’s CEO, chairman and founder, will add the role of president to his duties.

As part of the changes, Chief Financial Officer Lance Tucker, 44, will start overseeing the company’s information systems, such as its online ordering platform.

Based in Louisville, Kentucky, Papa John’s runs over 4,400 pizza restaurants around the world.

Its shares slipped 32 cents to $40.70 in afternoon trading Thursday.