Papa brings on Panera’s CDO

Steve’s breakdown: Papa John’s had to jump through a few legal hoops to get this guy on so we suspect that wasn’t done to not make changes. Look into all things digital including marketing.

LOUISVILLE, KY: Papa John’s International Inc. has named Mike Nettles as senior vice president and chief information and digital officer, the company said Tuesday.

Nettles’ hiring was delayed due to a July lawsuit from his former employer, Panera Bread Co. The St. Louis-based operator sued its former IT executive and Papa John’s, claiming Nettles’ hiring violated a non-compete agreement.

The case was settled and dismissed in December, clearing the way for Nettles to take the position with Papa John’s.

“We are excited to welcome Mike Nettles to the Papa John’s team,” Steve Ritchie, Papa John’s president and chief operating officer, said in a statement. “Not only is Mike a great cultural fit for our company, but he is also a proven leader in the digital and retail sectors that will help us deliver a better customer experience and elevate our digital platforms.”

Papa John’s gets 55 percent of its orders through digital channels. The pizza sector is increasingly competing not only over price, but over ease of service through mobile and online ordering, making Nettles a key hire.

At Panera, Nettles was most recently vice president of enterprise structure and IT strategy. He was responsible for driving IT architecture and processes for the bakery-café chain’s Panera 2.0 model.

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