Shaq's Role at Papa John's and How He's Evolving the Company
Food & Drink

Shaq’s Role at Papa John’s and How He’s Evolving the Company

Papa John’s has made major changes in the past few years, from adding locations to bringing a former basketball all-star onboard. So, if you want to invest in the company’s stock, what do you need to know? Here’s information on Papa John’s owner and where the business stands in 2021.

Moving to Atlanta

Papa John’s was initially founded in Jefferson, IN, and was headquartered in Louisville, KY, for a long time. However, the business moved its headquarters to Atlanta, GA, in recent years. With this move came many changes, including a new facility and job openings in the area.

Great Location

The new headquarters is located in The Battery Atlanta, a popular metropolitan area in the Georgia capital. It’s touted as the perfect location for an expanding and future-minded company.

New Facility

The office in Atlanta is state-of-the-art and covers 60,000 square feet. It will house several essential corporate departments:

  • Financial planning
  • Human resources
  • Operations
  • Communications
  • Marketing

The Shareholders Guide to Papa John’s Stock

As a publically traded company, Papa John’s has many different owners. However, some people once considered the founder, John Schnatter, to be the “true” Papa John’s owner. As of 2017, this is no longer the case, as Schnatter no longer owns a majority of the stock, nor does he sit on the board of directors.

John Schnatter

John Schnatter has sold a large percentage of his stock. He now holds less than 4% of the company’s shares. He’s also stepped down from his leadership role and no longer has input into business decisions.

Shaquille O’Neal

Shaquille O’Neal first rose to fame as a professional basketball player. Now retired, he works with charities and pursues business opportunities. He became a shareholder as part of an endorsement agreement he signed with Papa John’s.


There are dozens of other Papa John’s shareholders. Some are individuals, but most are investment firms and other companies investing on behalf of their clients.

Shaq’s Role

Though it may seem strange for a star athlete and beloved celebrity to take a place on Papa John’s board of directors, O’Neal has proven he’s a capable businessman and invested in the company’s future. O’Neal wears many different hats, but he’s committed to each of his roles.


O’Neal is a Papa John’s director, along with eight other people. Together, the board of directors makes decisions about the direction the company should take. The board acts in the interest of shareholders, thereby ensuring investors have a voice.


In addition to making fiduciary decisions for the company, O’Neal also promotes Papa John’s in commercials and allows the company to use his likeness in advertisements. He even helped create the Shaq-a-Roni, a unique menu item that earns money for charity.


O’Neal isn’t just a shareholder — he’s a franchisee. He owns nine Papa John’s locations in Atlanta.

Now that you understand how Shaq and Papa John’s are working together to reinvigorate the company, you can confidently make your business move. More innovations are on the horizon for the pizza giant, and fans and investors alike are excited to see them.