NEW YORK ó Papa Johnís founder John Schnatter has resigned as chairman of the pizza chainís 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 percent of the companyís shares.
Forbes reported that Schnatter used the N-word during a media training exercise. When asked how he would distance himself from racist groups, Schnatter reportedly complained that Colonel Sanders never faced a backlash for using the word.
In a statement released by Louisville, Kentucky-based Papa Johnís, Schnatter said reports attributing use of "inappropriate and hurtful" language to him were true.
"Regardless of the context, I apologize," the statement says.
The University of Louisville also said Wednesday that Schnatter resigned from its board of trustees, effective immediately.
Schnatter had already stepped down as CEO of Papa Johnís last year after blaming slowing sales growth on the outcry surrounding football players kneeling during the national anthem.
As of Thursday morning, Schnatterís image remained on Papa Johnís website. The company had noted in a previous regulatory filing that its business could be harmed if Schnatterís reputation were negatively impacted.
Papa Johnís shares were up 4 percent Thursday morning after the company announced Schnatterís departure.