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Papa John's says founder resigned as chairman of the board.

Papa John's says founder resigned as chairman of the board.

NEW YORK — Papa John's founder John Schnatter has resigned as chairman of the board.

The company made the announcement late Wednesday, hours after Schnatter apologized for using a racial slur during a conference call in May. Schnatter, who has appeared in TV ads for the pizza chain, still owns about 30 per cent of the company's shares.

Forbes reported that Schnatter used the N-word during a media training exercise.

In a statement released by Louisville, Kentucky-based Papa John's, Schnatter said reports attributing use of "inappropriate and hurtful" language to him were true.

"Regardless of the context, I apologize," the statement says.

As of Thursday morning, Schnatter's image remained on Papa John's website .

The Associated Press