5 Things you Didn’t Know About Papa John’s CEO Rob Lynch

Rob Lynch, appointed as CEO of Papa Johns in 2019, came to the pizza brand as the former President of Arby’s, and he has a focused theme in his more than 20-year career in packaged goods and food services. Papa John’s hopes its new leader, with his emphasis on branding and turning companies around, will be a breath of fresh air. Here are five things you did not know about Rob Lynch.

Instant Company Boost

Rob Lynch, the new President and CEO of Papa Johns, bolstered the company’s value immediately. When investors heard he was appointment to the helm of the struggling pizza company, shares increased as much as 8%, the equivalent of about $100 million.

CEO of Papa Johns Expertise in Branding

As Papa John’s CEO, Rob Lynch brings a proven history of branding expertise in large companies, including:

  • Brand Manager at Proctor and Gamble
  • Associate Marketing Director for Kraft-Heinz
  • Vice President of Marketing for Taco Bell

As Brand President, Chief Marketing Officer, and CEO of Arby’s, Rob Lynch began by analyzing its marketing efforts to determine what the company was doing right as well as what it was getting wrong. Famously, he overheard one customer say, “I wish they had a chicken sandwich.” There were four different types on the menu. He realized the company’s message was not clear, and he began adjusting publicity efforts to help the chain make the most of its offerings.

Star-Struck for Social Media

The attentive CEO of Papa Johns expertise in branding focused on what people were talking about on social media platforms, and he used that to build positive responses to the company. For example, Arby’s tweets during the 2015 Grammy season were clever, and they got a lot of people talking. One tweet joked about a hat seen during the awards ceremony because it resembled the hat image used in  Arby’s logo. This campaign went viral and earned the company positive attention and thousands of new social media followers.

Honest Risk Taker

Rob Lynch as Papa John’s CEO is not afraid to take calculated risks. Bringing the company back from its struggles after cripplingly bad publicity stemming from the racist language of company founder John Schnatter, Rob Lynch decided the company was not in line with basic principles of honesty, not to mention modern consumer expectations for corporate transparency, so the company made an ad.

Papa John’s had a contractual agreement with Pepsi to mention its products in two commercials annually. However, the company had not done this. Arby’s aired a light-hearted but honest ad showing a cold glass of Pepsi that openly said they had forgotten to honour this obligation. The ad received millions of views and positive responses.

How Papa John’s CEO Has Contributed to the Company’s Philanthropic Efforts

Perhaps one of the largest public relations efforts is how Papa John’s CEO has contributed to the company’s philanthropic efforts. The Papa John’s Foundation works to unite communities and promote civil discourses to overcome differences. The main focuses are food security, reducing food waste, and empowering youth for leadership and entrepreneurship.

While Rob Lynch’s confident and timely marketing approach may bring about large company changes, his methods are fairly simple. He stresses listening and then acting with honesty in order to benefit all.