How Steve Ritchie Has Demonstrated Smart Leadership

When a major company undergoes a crisis and then changes leadership, it is vital that the person now in charge demonstrate an ability to reach out to both customers and employees. That is what Steve Ritchie, new CEO of Papa John’s Pizza, did recently. In an open letter to both groups, he attempted to explain not only how previous mistakes were made, but more importantly how he and the company will move forward to once again gain the trust of its customers.

In being with Papa John’s Pizza for 22 years, Steve Ritchie used his knowledge of the company and current corporate culture to reassure customers as well as employees that while tough decisions have been made in many areas, Papa John’s is committed now more than ever to establishing a culture of inclusion, diversity, and opportunity. By making these areas a top priority, Steve Ritchie has laid the groundwork for he and other company executives to begin the process of reestablishing trust with all customers.

As many business experts have pointed out, Steve Ritchie did something very important with his letter to customers. Rather than simply attempt to say all the right things to appease those customers who have been disappointed in the company, Steve Ritchie laid out a detailed process of how positive change will take place. Among his main goals for the company are bringing in outside auditors to evaluate the company’s culture and diversity, identifying strengths and weaknesses. Along with this, he also committed to having he and various other senior management staff travel the country to visit many Papa John’s Pizza franchisees. By doing so, management will be able to speak directly to those who interact with customers on a daily basis, thus gaining a greater understanding of how problems can be solved.

But perhaps most importantly of all, Steve Ritchie pledged to Papa John’s customers that the company, from the top on down, will be committed to transparency and accountability. By making this promise, it is clear Steve Ritchie is determined to take the company in a new direction that will produce positive results.

Gary