Following his lucrative NBA career, Shaquille O’Neal used his money to invest in the popular "fast-food" pizza restaurant Papa John's. In 2019, it was announced that the basketball legend had joined the pizza chain's board of directors and had also invested in several locations in the Atlanta area.
“I have truly enjoyed the high-quality Papa John’s product for years and am excited to be able to help Papa John’s raise their game to new heights,” Shaq said in a press statement.
He continued: "This is a triple threat opportunity for me. I am excited to join the Board and to help lead from the top, while also investing in nine stores in my home town of Atlanta and being an ambassador for the brand. I look forward to working with my colleagues on the Board and using my experience in business and community to build on the progress being made at Papa John’s. Papa John’s is building a better culture, and I want to be a part of improving the company from the inside out."
However, it seems Shaq has reportedly not been keeping up with his obligations as a Papa John's board member. So, does he still hold the title?
Is Shaq still on Papa John's board of directors?
While Shaq is largely associated with his basketball stature, the 48-year-old is also an extremely smart businessman. He has invested his money in numerous companies post-professional career, including owning a Krispy Kreme Doughnuts shop in Atlanta, as well as opening multiple restaurants.
So, is the current NBA sports analyst still holding a position on the pizza chain's board of directors?
According to Fox Business, the firm Institutional Shareholder Services is calling for the sport's icon to be removed from the board of directors because of his poor attendance at meetings.
“A vote against Shaquille O'Neal is warranted for failing to attend at least 75 percent of his total board meetings held during the fiscal year under review without an acceptable reason for the absences,” ISS allegedly stated in a report.
The outlet reported that the pizza chain did address Shaq's lack of attendance at meetings. Papa John's said in a statement that it was “due to prior business and broadcasting commitments made prior to Mr. O’Neal’s appointment to the Board, which could not be rescheduled.”
Papa John's chairman Jeff Smith defended the former basketball star in a proxy statement calling for shareholders to re-elect him to the board.
“Our top strategic priority for the Company is to develop a culture of leaders who believe in diversity, inclusion and winning,” he stated in a letter obtained by Fox Business. “Mr. O’Neal is an important part of this effort. We are proud of our diverse Board, and believe our Board should be referenced as an example of success in culture and representation.”
Shaq has reportedly attended every board meeting thus far in 2020. Basically, it seems papa is still in the house.