Linhardt arrives from fellow fast food chain Subway, where he served as senior vice president of marketing for North America, a role which encompassed brand management for 30,000 restaurants.
Prior to this Linhardt squeezed in a decade at McDonald’s, heading a series of customer initiatives such as Happy Meals, the dollar menu and a premium burger range led by the Big Mac.
Papa John’s president and chief executive officer Steve Ritchie commented: “Karlin is a seasoned marketing executive who I am confident will contribute to our 'Better Ingredients. Better Pizza.' brand value proposition. The addition of Karlin as global chief marketing officer is one of the many significant steps we’ve taken to improve our brand differentiation, which includes enhancing our quality positioning in the category. Karlin’s combined restaurant, franchise and consumer brand experience make him an excellent addition to the Papa John’s leadership team.”
Linhardt added: “I am excited to join Papa John’s and begin working with the talented leadership and marketing teams to build upon the work underway. I’m a fan of Papa John’s high-quality product and I look forward to helping tell that quality story to customers in new ways.”
Papa John's has enjoyed a sales boost since airbrushing founder John Schnatter from all marketing and branding.