Papa John’s promotes Max Wetzel to EVP, chief commercial officer

Executive played oversized role in successful marketing campaigns, menu rollouts

Papa John’s promoted Max Wetzel to EVP and chief commercial officer, expanding his role. Immediately, the Atlanta, Ga.-based restaurant company will add North America restaurant operations to Wetzel’s role. In addition, the EVP and chief commercial officer will oversee marketing, menu innovation, customer experience, and a transformation office, announced Papa John’s.

“Over the past two years, Papa John’s has fully transformed itself from a turnaround story to an innovation-driven growth business with enormous development whitespace,” said Rob Lynch, Papa John’s president and chief executive. “Over the same period, the pandemic also accelerated changes in consumer behavior and expectations that were taking hold prior to 2020—online ordering, adoption of delivery aggregators, robust loyalty programs and one-to-one marketing—which have contributed to Papa John’s consistent outperformance, thanks to the efforts of Max and his team.

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Since joining Papa John’s in 2019, Wetzel has supported key initiatives in repositioning the brand as a premium offering in the pizza category. He is credited with the successful launch of Epic Stuffed Crust and Papadias, creating impactful marketing campaigns like Shaq-a-roni and building the Papa Rewards loyalty program to more than 20 million members.

Wetzel’s data-driven approach has helped the company make better business decisions, noted Papa John’s.

Added Lynch, “More tightly integrating our commercial and marketing functions with our technology team as well as our restaurant operations, who play the critical role of delivering for our customers every day, allows us to better realize our long-term growth opportunity.”

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