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Papa John’s co-CEO to resign

J. Jude Thompson, co-chief executive of Papa John’s International Inc., will resign at the end of April to focus on his insurance agency, the pizza delivery company said late Friday.

John H. Schnatter, founder, chairman and co-chief executive of the Louisville, Ky.- based Papa John’s, will assumed sole responsibility as chief executive.

Schnatter, 49, added in a statement that with Thompson “we’ve accomplished a lot during his three years with the company and we wish him well.”

When the co-CEO arrangement was announced last April, the company said Schnatter would oversee the brand’s sourcing of ingredients, distribution and product quality and continue to serve as Papa John’s spokesman while Thompson was to be responsible for all other day-to-day operational aspects of the company.

In documents filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission Friday, Papa John’s said Thompson would remain employed through April 30. The SEC filing also said he would receive a payment of about $563,600, “representing seven and one-half month’s base salary, accrued and estimated bonus for the first and second quarters of 2011 under the company’s management incentive plan and payment of accrued vacation and other benefits.”

Thompson, who had been a director of Papa John’s since 2008 and an officer of the company since 2009, is stepping down to focus on Arison Insurance Services, a Louisville-based insurance agency. Thompson is a principal and co-founder of Assurance Investment Partners Inc., owner of Arison.

Papa John’s operates or franchises about 3,646 pizza restaurants, with 2,871 of those in the United States.

Contact Ron Ruggless at [email protected].

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